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University of California Berkeley 
Gift of 

Miss Helen Pardee 



LIFE 



AMONG THE APACHES 



BY 



JOH C. CREMO^Y, 

INTERPRETER TO THE U. S. BOUNDARY COMMISSION, UNDER THE HON. JOHN R. 

BARTLETT, IN 1849, '50 AND '51, AND LATE MAJOR OF CALIFORNIA 

VOLUNTEER CAVALRY, OPERATING IN ARIZONA, NEW 

MEXICO, TEXAS AND WESTERN ARKANSAS. 




SAN FRANCISCO: 

A. ROMAN & COMPANY, PUBLISHERS. 

NEW YOEK: 27 HOWAED STEEET. 

1868. 



Entered according to Act of Congress, in the year 1868, by 
JOHN H. CARMANY & CO., 

in the Clerk's Office of the District Court of the United States for the District 
of California. 



Printed at the 

COMMEKCIAL HERAIJ) OFFICE, 

San Francisco, Cal. 



TO THE PIONEER AND LIBERAL PUBLISHER, 



THE ZEALOUS AND ENTERPRISING FRIEND OF LITERATURE ON 
THE PACIFIC COAST, THIS UNPRETENDING VOLUME IS 

RESPECTFULLY DEDICATED AS A TRIBUTE 
OF THE AUTHOR'S ESTEEM. 



CONTENTS OF THE VOLUME. 



CHAPTEE I. 

Comanclie Eaid. Detailed to send them away. Interview with Janamata. 
Description of the Chief pp. 13-16 

CHAPTEE II. 

March from Texas to El Paso. The Lipans. Their Personal Appearance. 
Sait-jah and the Picture 17-22 

CHAPTEE III. 

To the Copper Mines. Encounter with Cuchillo Negro. Fearful Massacre of 
Apaches. Their Terrible Revenge. Apache Method of Hunting Ducka 
and Geese. Apaches Hunting Antelopes. Mangas Colorado. My 
Camp 23-34 

CHAPTEE IV. 

Journey to Sonora. Adventure with Apaches. Fronteras. Mexican Dread of 
Indians. Gen. Carasco. Janos. Mexican Policy toward the Apaches. 
Carasco's Eaid. Gandara, Monteverde and Urea. Death of Carasco. 
Arispe. Apache Prisoners. Mexican Guard. Apaches Attacking a Mexi 
can Train. Curious Style of Pursuit. Return to the Copper Mines. 
Americans Attacked by Apaches. Traits of Apache Character. Crafti. 
ness " 35-46 

CHAPTEE V. 

Mangas Colorado. His Personal Appearance, Power, and Influence. Indian 
Forces at the Copper Mines. The Navajoes. Their Appearance and Sub 
sequent Acts. Their Schemes Foiled. Mangas in Full Uniform. Strange 



6 CONTENTS. 

Mode of Attire. Inez Gonzales. Her Rescue. New Mexican Traders. 
Summary Proceedings. Story of Inez. March into Sonora. Santa Cruz. 
Restoration of Inez. Her subsequent History. Tanori pp. 47-58 

CHAPTER VI. 

Rescue of Two Mexican Boys. War Talk. Exciting Scene. Peaceful Termina 
tion. Large Indian Forces. An Apache killed by a Mexican. Intense 
Excitement. Fearless Conduct of Col. Craig. The Apaches Pacified. 
Another War Talk. Amicable Result. Necessity of Firmness and Pre 
caution '. 59-72 

CHAPTER VII. 

Jornada del Muerto. Socorro. Lieut. Campbell. Terrific Ride for Life. 
Splendid Horse. Narrow Escape. Caring for a Horse. Apache Visits. 
Treacherous Nature 73-79 

CHAPTER VIII. 

Gold Mines. Apache Raid. Our Mules Stolen. Unsuccessful Scout. Another 
Apache Raid. Fight with Delgadito's Band. Recovery of Stolen Cattle. 
Delgadito Wounded. His Death. Traits of Apache Character. Their 
Spartan Views. Apache Idea of American Wisdom. Adventure of Mr. 
Diaz with Cuchillo Negro. Abandon the Copper Mines. Sonora. Santa 
Cruz. Bacuachi. Arispe. Ures. Hermosillo. Guaymas. Return. 
Santa Rita. The Pimos and Maricopas. Their Tradition. Their Personal 
Appearance. Strange Relations Between the Two Tribes. Lucubrations 
on Indian Character. Our Indian Policy Criticised 80-97 

CHAPTER IX. 

Pimo Superstition. Eclipse of the Moon. Terrible Excitement. Dangerous 
Predicament. Lieut. Whipple's Coolness. Satisfactory Result. Pimos 
and Maricopas. Their Traditions. Religions and Modes of Interment. 
Dr. David Wooster. Arrival of Gen. Conde. Death of Antonio. Horrible 
and Revolting Ceremonies. The Gila Bend. Down the Gila. The Mar> 
copa Refugees. Important News. The Colorado River. John Gallantin 
and his Party 08-117 

CHAPTER X. 

Fort Yuma. The Yuma Indians. Desperate Situation. Dr. Webb's Bluntness. 



CONTENTS. 7 

Caballo en Pelo. Method of Camping. Yuma Chiefs our Prisoners. 
The Launch. Crossing the Colorado. March into the Desert. Release of 
the Yuma s. Sandstorm in the Desert. Final Escape from the Yumas. 
Sufferings on the Desert. Carisso Creek. VaUecito. Hospitality of Army 
Officers. Col. Heintzleman. Yumas Reduced to Subjection. . .pp. 118-128 

CHAPTER XI. 

Letter from Senator Clemens. Resign from the Boundary Commission. Depar 
ture of the Commission. New Expedition. Ride up the Gila. Terrible 
Conflict with Apaches. Desperate Personal Encounter. Defeat of the 
Savages. Return of the Expedition. Long for a Quiet Life. San Fran 
cisco. Cogitations on Indian Character. Advice Given and Disdained. 
The Fatal Results. Necessity for Constant Caution. Extent of Apache 
Country. Numerical Strength of the Apaches. Female Warriors. False 
Impressions of Indian Character 129-143 

CHAPTER XII. 

Enter the Volunteer Service. The Column from California. Antelope Peak. 
Visited by Yumas. Making Metates. Get Rid of them by a Ruse. The 
Maricopas Again. Carrying the Mails. Small Force in Camp. Visit of 
Col. Rigg. The Maricopas Recognize me. Their Gratitude. Captain 
Killmoon. Another Remarkable Lunar Performance. Loring's Assist 
ance. Bargaining for Chickens. Magic Virtues of the Compass. Effect 
of the Burning Glass 144-154 

CHAPTER XIII. 

Sent to the Front. Dreadful Storm at the San Pedro River. Night Alarm. 
Apaches Gathering. Dragoon Springs. Capt. Thomas Roberts. Apache 
Pass. Bloody and Desperate Fight with Apaches. The Savages Whipped. 
Remarkable Infantry March. Heroism of John Teal. He wounds 
Mangas Colorado, and whips off Fifteen Apaches. Gallantry of Sergeant 
Mitchell and his Cavalry. Effect of Shelling the Apaches. Number of 
Indians Killed. Our Losses. Re-enter the Pass. Refused Permission to 
Charge. San Simon 155-167 

CHAPTER XIV. 

Return from the San Simon. Avoid Apache Pass. Reasons for so Doing. Night 
Marching. Apaches show Themselves. Rattlesnakes. Ojo de los Her- 



8 CONTENTS. 

manos. San Pedro Again. Beturn through Apache Pass. Meet thirteen 
Dead Americans. Mangas Colorado's Deceit. How the Americans were 
Killed. Apache Cunning and Calculation. Bury the Dead. How Mangas 
was Cured of his Wound. Death of Mangas Colorado. The Genius and 
Abilities of Mangas. Apache Democracy. Extent of the Eavages of 
Mangas Colorado PP- 168-178 

CHAPTEK XV. 

Apache Signals. Mode of Marching through Arizona and New Mexico. Apache 
Watchfulness and Caution. The Gila Country. Grama Grass. The In- 
formation Indispensable for a Successful Campaign against Apaches. 
The Smoke Columns. Pressed Grass. Bent and Broken Twigs. Blazed 
Trees. Mounted Parties. The Stone Signals. Kit Carson. Comparison 
between White Men's and Apache Philosophy. The Present Condition of 
Apache Armament. Their Knowledge of Colors, and the Use they make 
of It. TJieir Hatred of all Other Eaces. Proofs of their Good Breeding. 
Our Indian Policy Discussed. Apache Want of Sympathy. How they 
Obtain their Guns and Ammunition. Extent of their Eavages in North 
ern Mexico. Monuments of Apache Massacres in Arizona. Mines of 
Arizona 179-196 

CHAPTER XVI. 

Condition of New Mexico and Arizona. Active Campaign. Californian Soldiers. 
Bosque Eedondo. More Intimate Eelations with Apaches. Site of Tort 
Sumner. Scarcity of Wood. Climate. Arrival of Apache Prisoners of 
'War. Dog Canon. Apache Embassy. Mr. Labadie. Placed in Charge of 
the Apaches. Form a Council. Hunting Excursion with Apaches. Their 
Mode of Killing Antelopes. Learn more of Indian Character. Obtain a 
Greater Share of their Confidence 197-205 

CHAPTEK XVII. 

Satisfaction of the Apaches. Policy. Beneficial Eesults to my Men. Individual 
Eesponsibility. Short Allowance. The Apache Eations Continued. Gen. 
Carleton's Visit. Bishop Lamy. Supplies Eeceived. Apaches Elect a 
Governor. Juan Cojo. Commence Learning the Apache Language. Com 
pile a Vocabulary. Gradually gain Apache Confidence. Eenew Acquaint 
ance with Old Enemies. Altered Eelations. Former Events Eecalled. 
Instruction thrown Away. Apache Ideas of Warfare. Their Horror of 
Work. Influence of their Women. Mescal. Its Intoxicating Quali- 



CONTENTS. 9 

CHAPTER XVIII. 

Dangerous Hunting at the Bosque. Dr. McNulty's Adventure. Don Carlos and 
his Indians. Mr. Descourtis' Adventure. Nah-kah-yen and Nah-tanh. 
Hunting a Lion. The Indian and the Panther. Combat Between a Bear 
and a Lion. The Kesult. Beavers. Apache Love of Torturing. Gallant 
Indian. A Wounded Apache to be Dreaded pp. 218-228 

CHAPTER XIX. 

Anecdote of Capt. Bristol. Surprise and Admiration of the Indians. They Vote 
Him a Great Medicine. Wonders of the Microscope. Their Modes of 
Hunting. Departure of Ojo Blanco. Apache Dread of Disease. The 
Influenza. Apache Prophet. His Dream and Interpretation. My Coun 
ter Dream and Interpretation. Useful Services of Dr. Gwyther. Faith 
fulness of Gian-nah-tah. Necessity of Using Artifice 229-236 

CHAPTER XX. 

The Apache Language. Its Bemarkable Regularity and Copiousness. Examples 
Given. Reflections. How Apaches are Named. Apache Beauties. Dis 
inclination to tell their Apache Names : 237-243 

CHAPTER XXI. 

Chastity of Apache Women. Wantonness of the Navajoes. Comparison Insti 
tuted. Curious Customs. A Feast and Dance. Ceremonies. Duration 
of the Feast. Depilorizing the Eyes. Apache Marriages. Style of Court 
ship. Coquetry. Horses as Money. The Bower of Love. Affected Bash- ' 
fulness. Apache System of Polygamy. Customs Regulating Marriage. 
Nah-tanh's Views. Burials. Funeral Ceremonies. Apache Reserve. 
Small-Pox. Capt. Shirland. Fort Davis. Fight with Apaches. Indians 
Whipped 244-252 

CHAPTER XXII. 

Apaches as Warriors. Fight with the Maricopas. Fight with the Comanches. 
Cold Weather. Apache Camp Attacked by Hostile Navajoes. Navajoes 
Pursued and Destroyed. Animals Recovered. Carillo and the Navajo. 
McGrew and Porter. Their Gallantry. Apache Ideas of Scalping. Grand 
Apache Parade. Strange Request. Denied. Purification of Arms. The 
Prophet again Making Trouble. Apache Cavalry Manoeuvres. Reflec 
tions ... . . 253-261 



10 CONTENTS. 

CHAPTEK XXIII. 

Ojo Blanco Wounded. Apache Doctoring. Dr. Gwyther's Treatment. Results. 
Ojo Blanco Killed in Battle. Religious Creed of the Apaches. Policy in 
their Religion. The Deluge. Apaches Ignorant of their Origin. Their 
Ideas in Reference to Women. Mexican Women as Wives of Apaches. 
Character of their Children. Horrible Spectacle in Cooke's Canon. A few 
Suggestions. Their Respect for Traditions Upset ,pp. 262-272 

CHAPTER XXIY. 

Apache Endurance. Inroad. Extensive Traveling. Wild Hosses. El Cupido. 
Passes in New Mexico. Heavy Snow. Cold Weather. Change Base. 
Indians Break Cover. Continued Snow-storm. Go in Pursuit. Rough 
Ride. Indians Overtaken by Mr. Labadie. -Navajoes Whipped and Plun 
der Recovered. Overtake and Protect Labadie. Hunt for Navajoes. 
Labadie Arrives Safely at Fort Sumner. Conchas Springs. Intense 
Cold. Indians' Indifference to Cold. Apache Method of Running Sheep. 
Great Distances Accomplished 273-284 

CHAPTEE XXV. 

Religious Ceremonies. Lack of Veneration. Evidences of Mineral Wealth. An 
Apache " Rough." Tats-ah-das-ay-go. Remarkable Order. Another 
Scout. Apache "Hide and Seek." Prairie Dogs and their Guests. 
Apache Customs concerning Murder. Sons-in-jah. His Career. His Re 
citals. Former Condition of the New Mexicans. How the Difficulties 
Commenced. Reflections. Articles of Apache Food. Native Potatoes. 
Apache Estimate of Dead Women. Navajo Dread of Corpses 285-297 

CHAPTER XXYI. 

Apache Boldness and Address. The Papagoes. A Fine Herd Stolen by One 
Apache. An Officer's Horse Stolen. Soldier Robbed of his Horse. Ne" 
cessity for Prudence. Apache Games. Sons-in-jah's Version. Apache 
Ideas of Gambling. Races at Fort Sumner. The Winners. Manuelito, 
the Great Navajo Warrior 298-309 

CHAPTER XXVII. 

Ignorance of Indian Character Discussed. Political Indian Agencies. How the 
Indian Affairs should be Managed.^Necessity of Force. Absurd System 
in Vogue. Crushing Out Advised. How the Apaches should be Fought. 
Proper Method of Campaigning. Suggestions. Culpable Neglect of Con 
gress. General Deductions. Calif ornian Troops. Conclusion. .. 310-322 



PREFACE. 



THOSE who may favor the succeeding pages with their perusal, 
must not expect any attempt at fine writing or glowing description. 
The author's intention is, to furnish a plain, unvarnished tale of 
actual occurrences and facts illustrative of the various tribes of In 
dians occupying that vast region which extends from the Colorado 
river on the west, to the settlements of Texas on the east, and from 
Taos in New Mexico to Durango in the Mexican Republic. 

In the front rank of the tribes, occupying the region included 
within the limits mentioned, stands the great Apache race, and next 
are the Comanches. The former of these will engage most of the 
author's attention for very many and obvious reasons. It is be 
lieved that the book will contain a large amount of valuable infor 
mation, to be derived from no other source extant, and it will be the 
author's endeavor to place it before his readers in a manner which 
will engage their attention. Nothing not strictly true will be admit 
ted into its pages, and if some of the incidents narrated be found 
of a thrilling character, the reader will experience satisfaction in 
knowing that they are not the results of imaginative picturing. 
Whenever a personal adventure is narrated, it will be found to illus 
trate some particular phase of character ; none are recounted which 
do not convey information. 

Our Government has expended millions of dollars, in driblets, 
since the acquisition of California, in efforts to reduce the Apaches 



12 PREFACE. 

and Navajoes, who occupy that extensive belt of country which forms 
the highway for overland migration from the East to the West; but 
we are as far from'success to-day as we were twenty years ago. The 
reason is obvious. We have never striven to make ourselves intel 
ligently acquainted with those tribes. Nearly all that relates to 
them is quite as uncertain and indefinite to our comprehension as 
that which obtains in the center of Africa. Those who were the 
best informed on the matter, and had given it the closest attention, 
were, at the same time most unfortunately the least capable of 
imparting their information ; while those who were almost ignorant 
of the subject have been the most forward to give the results of 
their fragmentary gleanings. If this volume shall have the effect of 
bettering our present deplorable Indian policy, by letting in some 
light, it will accomplish the author's object. 
SAN FBANCTSCO, August, 1868. J. C. C. 



CHAPTER I. 

Comanche Kaid. Detailed to send them away. Interview with Janamata. 
Description of the Chief. 

MY first business acquaintance with "Lo" occurred 
in the year 1847. A band of about one hundred Co 
manche warriors, led by a chief named Janamata. or the 
"Ked Buffalo," taking advantage of the subdued and 
defenceless condition of the Mexicans, crossed the Kio 
Grande, about seventy miles below Old Keynosa, and 
commenced a series of depredations. Information was 
immediately given to the American officer commanding 
at that post, and the writer was detailed, with a force of 
fifty men, to drive off the invaders, with orders not to 
engage in hostilities, unless the Indians proved refrac 
tory and deaf to all other appeals. 

After marching fifty miles, which was accomplished in 
two days, we arrived at the scene of operations, meeting 
the Comanches on the highway. Our force was imme 
diately disposed to the best advantage, and placing a 
white handkerchief on the point of my sabre, I advanced 
alone toward the chief, who, leaving his warriors, rode 
forward to meet me. He spoke Spanish fluently, having 
evidently acquired it in his many marauding excursions 
into Mexico. Having met, I offered him a cigarito, which 
was accepted with Indian stoicism. We smoked in per 
fect silence for half a minute, when the cigaritos having 
been consumed the following dialogue took place : 

Officer. "I am sent to tell you, that you must recross 
2 



14 LIFE AMONG THE APACHES. 

the Bio Grande with your warriors, and come here no 
more to molest these people while we remain in the 
country." 

Indian. "I hear your words. They are not pleasant. 
These Mexicans are our natural enemies; we have warred 
against them for many years. They are also your ene 
mies. You are killing them in their own country, the 
same as I am. The Comanches are friends to the Amer 
icans. Why do you prevent your friends from hunting 
your enemies and theirs ?" 

Officer. " Red man, you mistake. These people were 
our enemies, but they have yielded, and all who have sub 
mitted are under our protection. "We have ceased from 
doing them harm, and if we permit you to injure them 
after we have disarmed them, it would be the same as if 
we did so ourselves." 

Indian. ' ' But your revenge is for yourselves. It does 
not satisfy us for the blood of Comanches slain by Mexi 
cans. You made war upon them without our consent or 
knowledge. We do the same. A wise warrior takes 
advantage of his enemy's weakness. It is now our op 
portunity." 

Officer. "These people are our captives, and cannot 
continue to be your enemies while in that condition. 
Suppose you had a dozen Apache captives, would you 
permit the Kaddos to come into your camp and kill them; 
take their property and go off without resistance ?" 

Indian. "White man, your tongue is double, like a 
woman's; but the Comanche does not feel to war against 
his American brothers. I and my people will recross the 
Bio Grande, but will not promise never to come back. 
Good-by." 

Our colloquy ended we smoked another cigarito; he 
waved his hand to his warriors, and without another word 



LIFE AMOXG THE APACHES. 15 

directed his course to the river, which was soon waded, 
and Janamata, Avith his followers, stood on American 
soil. This little interview imparted the knowledge that 
the American savages are rather keen logicians, from their 
own uncivilized stand-point, as they are incapable of ap 
preciating the moral and religious sensibilities of enlight 
ened races. 

Janamata was a good type of his tribe, in point of 
physical development. He was about five feet ten inches 
in height, with well proportioned shoulders, very deep 
chest, and long, thin, but muscular arms. His forehead, 
was very broad and moderately high, his mouth enor 
mous, and garnished with strong white teeth. His nose 
was of the Roman order, broad and with much expanded 
nostrils, which appeared to pulsate with every emotion; 
but his countenance was rigid and immovable as bronze. 
His arms consisted of a bow and quiver full of arrows, a 
long lance, a long sharp knife, worn in the top of his 
moccasin boot, and a very good Colt's revolver. A strong 
shield of triple buffalo bide, ornamented with brass studs, 
hung from his saddle bow, and his dress was composed 
of buckskin and buffalo hide well tanned and flexible, 
but wholly free from ornament. I afterwards learned 
from a Texas Banger that he was called Janamata, or the 
" Red Buffalo," from a desperate encounter he once had 
with one of those animals, which had ripped up his horse, 
and attacked him on foot. In this encounter Janamata had 
only his knife to depend on, as he had lost lance and bow 
when unhorsed. It is related that as the buffalo charged 
upon him, he sprang over the animal's lowered front, and 
landing on his back, plunged his knife several times into 
its body; then, as suddenly jumping off behind, he seized 
it by the tail and with one cut severed' the ham-string. 
These details made an impression upon me at the time 
which has never been effaced or weakened. 



16 LIFE AMONG THE APACHES. 

Years passed before another opportunity offered to ex 
tend my acquaintance with Indians, and then in a totally 
different sphere and under different circumstances, and 
with many different tribes. The lapse of time, however, 
gave opportunity for reflection, and I realized the fact 
that my former rude impressions, founded upon such 
authorities as Catlin, Cooper, and others, must be con 
siderably modified; and I resolved that, should occasion 
ever offer, I would devote attention and time to the ob 
servation of Indian character as it is, and not as I had 
believed it to be from writers on the subject. 



CHAPTER II. 

March from Texas to El Paso. The Lipans. Their Personal Appearance. 
Sait-jah and the Picture. 

IN the year 1849, I was prevailed upon by Dr. Thomas 
H. Webb, Secretary of the Massachusetts Historical So 
ciety, to forego my position on the Boston Herald, and 
accept an appointment on the United States Boundary 
Commission, then being re-organized under the Hon. 
John K. Bartlett. Mr. Bartlett selected some thirty of 
the Commission, and determined to proceed by way of 
the Northern Koute, which, up to that period, had been 
traveled only three times, and was, consequently, but 
little known. The most valuable information relative to 
the route was received from Judge Antrim a brave, 
courteous and handsome gentleman. In accordance with 
the directions pricked out on Mr. Bartlett's traveling 
chart by Judge Ankrim, one portion of the Commission 
directed their way, leaving the great body, under Col. 
John McClellan, U. S. Topographical Engineers, to come 
on by what is known as the Southern Eoute, a well beaten 
and frequently used road. Many portions of the way 
selected by Mr. Bartlett had never before been gone over 
by white men. There was no trail to direct our course, 
nor did we possess any satisfactory knowledge of its abil 
ity to afford wood, water and grass. The maps, however, 
showed that it was crossed by certain streams at stated 
distances, and the venture was boldly undertaken. 

On arriving within a short distance of the South Con- 



18 LIFE AMONG THE APACHES. 

clio river, we camped on a small stream named the Ante 
lope creek, situated in the Lipan country. Early next 
morning, as the party were about to resume the march, 
an Indian was seen advancing at full speed. A halt was 
ordered, and in a few minutes he was among us asking, 
in Spanish, for the commander. I at once took him to 
Mr. Bartlett, and, on approaching the Commissioner, our 
red visitant commenced fumbling among his clothes, 
from which he extracted a dirty piece of handkerchief, 
which, being unrolled, disclosed another dirty rag, and 
the unwrapping continued until five pieces of cotton 
fragments had been unrolled, displaying a handsome 
leopard skin pouch, in which were a number of recom 
mendations, signed by well-known Americans, and set 
ting forth that the bearer, Chipota, a Lipan chief, had, a 
short time before, celebrated a treaty of peace with the 
"United States, and was entitled to the consideration and 
kindness of all American travelers over those wastes. 
During the interview, I attentively watched the Indian, 
who gave slight indications of uneasiness as to the man 
ner in which his overtures would be received; but these 
were soon dissipated by the frank and amicable deport 
ment of Mr. Bartlett, who invited his visitor to take a 
seat in his carriage and proceed with him to the next 
camp, which was about twelve miles further. Chipota 
appeared to be about sixty years of age. He was short, 
stout and sinewy, with an uncommonly high and expan 
sive forehead, and so singularly like the celebrated Lewis 
Cass in appearance, that the fact was immediately re 
marked by all the party who had ever seen Mr. Cass or 
his portrait. 

The Commissioner traveled in a close carriage, drawn 
by four fleet and powerful mules. His compagnon de voy 
age was invariably Dr. Webb, who could never be induced 



LIFE AMONG THE APACHES. 19 

to mount a horse. The inside of the carriage was well 
supplied with Colt's and Sharp's rifles, Colt's pistols, a 
double-barreled shot gun, lots of ammunition, a spy 
glass, and a number of small but useful tools. Upon 
entering this traveling arsenal, old Chipota looked around 
him with ill-concealed astonishment, which was greatly 
heightened by Mr. Bartlett preparing the spy-glass, and 
permitting him to take a good look through it at a dis 
tant object. The Indian could hardly credit that the 
thing he saw so distinctly through the glass was the 
same object he beheld so dimly with his naked eye. Not 
until we arrived in camp, however, were his senses 
brought to the full stand-poinf of admiration by the 
rapid discharges and terrific effects of the fire from our 
repeating rifles and pistols. Looking around with un- 
dissembled amazement, he said in his own language, as 
if soliloquizing: " Inday pindah lickoyee schlango pooha- 
cante." It was not until years had passed that I became 
aware of the meaning of these words : but I noted them 
at the time by asking him to repeat them, and took a 
memorandum of their sounds. Since then I have discov 
ered that they mean ' ' These people of the white eyes 
are wonderful medicine men." 

About two hours after camping, we were joined by 
four more Lipans, the leader being named Chiquito, a 
Spanish term, signifying "the little one." He was tall, 
thin, sinewy, and had the appearance of having been 
possessed of more than ordinary powers of endurance. 
The likeness of this chief to General Jackson was quite 
as remarkable and striking as that of Chipota to General 
Cass, and was a general subject of remark. The most 
prominent member of Chiquito's escort was a tall, strong, 
well-made and handsome young Lipan dandy, who re 
joiced in the name of Sait-jah, disdaining to be known 



20 LIFE AMONG THE APACHES. 

by any Spanish term. This fellow evidently believed 
himself of some consequence, and strutted about with a 
very decided aristocratic bearing. After a short time 
passed in displaying his colossal proportions, his splen 
did leopard skin saddle, quiver, leggins, etc., Chipota 
quietly beckoned to him and the others, and, I suppose, 
gave them a short account of the wonders he had beheld. 
His warnings were received with trust by all but Sait- 
jah, who, like most inexperienced and flattered young 
men, savage or civilized, preferred to rely on his own 
experiences. Our party being small, and offering many 
temptations, I kept a strict but unobserved watch over 
the Indians, and suspected the tenor of Chipota's dis 
course, from his gesticulations. In a few minutes Sait- 
jah came toward me in a swaggering manner, and said, 
in broken Spanish: " Our chief says you great medicine; 
he says your pistol fires six times without reloading; he 
says you bring the trees which are afar off close to the 
eye, so you can count the leaves; he says your guns reach 
a great way, and never miss; he says a great many other 
wonderful things, which I cannot believe. You have 
bewitched him." Drawing a six-shooter from my belt, I 
pointed out a tree about seventy-five yards distant, and 
commenced firing rapidly. Each shot struck the tree, 
and blazed off large fragments of the bark. Sait-jah was 
astonished at the power of the weapon, and made no at 
tempt to conceal his surprise; but his admiration broke 
out into emphatic expression when he witnessed the pre 
cision and reach of our Sharp's rifles, and the rapidity 
with which they could be loaded and fired. His pride 
had evidently received a heavy fall, and his lofty bearing 
was toned down to the level of his white visitors. 

In my possession was the miniature of a young lady, 
whose many graces of person, cultivated mind and amia- 



LIFE AMONG THE APACHES. 21 

ble disposition, rendered her one of the most lovable of 
Boston's fairest daughters. Sait-jah happened to see 
this picture, and asked permission to take a good look at 
the pleasant features. The miniature was placed in his 
hand, and his eyes seemed to devour its expressive linea 
ments. Throughout the remainder of that day this In 
dian bored me with frequent requests for another look, 
and the next morning, so soon as the camp was astir, he 
offered me his bow, arrows and splendid leopard skin for 
the picture. These offers being refused, he then added 
his horse, and whatever other property he might have, 
for its possession; but, finding me deaf to his entreaties, 
he took one long, last look, vaulted on his horse, set off 
at full speed and rapidly disappeared in the distance. 

The Lipans are a numerous and warlike tribe, roaming 
over a vast extent of country, and perpetually at war 
with the Comanches, Kaddos, and other tribes of West 
ern Texas. Since acquiring the Apache language, I have 
discovered that they are a branch of that great tribe 
speaking identically the same language, with the excep 
tion of a few terms and names of things existing in 
their region and not generally known to those branches 
which inhabit Arizona and New Mexico. The Mescalero 
Apaches, in their search for buffaloes, frequently meet the 
Lipans, and always on the best of terms. No conflicts 
are known to have ever occurred between them; but they 
act in concert against the Comanches, and all other 
tribes. All the remarks on the Apache race, which will 
be found in the succeeding pages of this work, apply 
with equal force to the Lipans, with the exception of 
their tribal organization, the Lipans having regular 
chiefs, whom they obey on all occasions, and whose acts 
are final; while the Apaches are pure democrats, each 
warrior being' his own master, and submitting only to 



22 LIFE AMONG THE APACHES. 

the temporary control of a chief elected for the occasion. 
As no other Indians were encountered until after our 
arrival at Paso del Norte, the remainder of our journey 
with its many incidents, sufferings and dangers, will not 
be expatiated upon in this work, which is solely dedi 
cated to descriptions of Indian life. 



CHAPTER III. 

To the Copper Mines. Encounter with Cuchillo Negro. Fearful Massacre of 
Apaches. Their Terrible Revenge. Apache Method of Hunting Ducks 
and Geese. Apaches Hunting Antelopes. Mangas Colorado. My Camp. 

IN the latter part of January, 1850, Mr. Bartlett took 
advantage of the march of Col. Craig, commanding the 
military escort of the Boundary Commission, to order 
Dr. Webb, Mr. Thurber and myself to the Copper Mines 
of Santa Rita, as Col. Craig had determined to make 
that place his head-quarters until the extended opera 
tions of the Commission should demand a more advanced 
post. Dr. Webb, Secretary of the Commission, and Mr. 
Thurber, Botanist, rode in Mr. Bartlett's carriage, which 
he had loaned them for the trip, but I preferred to take 
the saddle, being mounted on an uncommonly fine horse 
I had bought from Capt. A. Buford, First United States 
Dragoons. In order not to be distressed by the slow, 
painful and tiresome marches of the infantry, Dr. Webb 
invariably ordered Wells, the carriage driver, to hurry 
forward to the next camping ground, and we generally 
arrived three or four hours in advance of the troops, my 
horse keeping up with the carriage, for I would not leave 
my party in so dangerous an Indian country as the one 
we were then penetrating. Sometimes, when the road 
was rough and difficult for the carriage, I was accus 
tomed to ride ahead in search of game, being always 
armed to the teeth with two belt and two holster six- 
shooters, a Sharp's carbine and a large bowie knife. On 



24 LIFE AMONG THE APACHES. 

the fourth day of our march, I advanced about three 
miles ahead of the carriage, which was detained in mak 
ing the passage through Cooke's canon, a rough, rocky 
and very dangerous defile, about forty miles east of the 
Mimbres river, and having observed some antelope tracks, 
looked around in hope of seeing the animals, when I 
perceived myself surrounded by a band of about twenty- 
five Indians, who advanced upon me from, all sides, led 
by a savage who rode several yards ahead of all others. 
At that time I could have broken through the circle and 
rejoined my party with but little risk, as my horse was 
infinitely superior in strength and speed to their ponies, 
but as I felt convinced that the carriage would heave in 
sight within a short time, my resolution was immediately 
taken to adopt another policy. By this time their leader 
was from twenty-five to thirty yards in advance of his 
followers, and about the same distance from me, perceiv 
ing which I drew r a heavy holster pistol with my right 
hand and putting spurs to my horse, met him in a bound 
or two, when I addressed him to the following effect, in 
Spanish : 

1 ' Keep off or I will shoot you." 

To this he replied: "Who are you, and whence do you 
come ?" 

Observing that his warriors were closing upon me, I 
said: "See here, Indian, you have plenty of warriors 
against one man, but I have got you; your people may 
kill me, but I will kill you, so tell them to hold back at 
once." 

Involuntarily the Apache waved his hand, and his war 
riors halted about forty yards off. Not liking so short a 
distance, I again urged the chief to let his warriors fall 
back still further, at the same time giving a significant 
shake of my pistol. This, too, was done, and the Apaches 



LIFE AMONG THE APACHES. 25 

increased their distance to about one hundred and fifty 
yards. The chief, whom I afterwards found to be Cu- 
chillo Negro, or the "Black Knife/' then endeavored to 
gain my left side, but I foiled his attempt by keeping 
my horse's head in his direction wherever he moved. 
He then said, "G-ood-by," and started to rejoin his 
comrades, but I again brought him to a sense of his po 
sition, by telling him I would not permit it, and he must 
stay with me until my friends came up. This excited 
considerable surprise, for he evidently labored under the 
idea that I was alone, or nearly so. The following dia 
logue then took place : 

Cuchillo Negro. " What do you want in my country?" 

American. "I came here because my chief has sent 
me. He is coming soon with a large force, and will pass 
through this country, but does not intend to remain or 
do any harm to his Apache brethren. We come in 
peace, and will always act peaceably, unless you compel 
us to adopt other measures; if you do, the consequences 
will do you great harm." 

Cuchillo Negro. "I do not believe your words. You 
are alone. My people have been on the watch, and 
have seen no forces coming this way. If any such had 
been on the road, we would have known it. You are in 
my power. What more have you to say ?" 

American. "Indian, you are foolish. Long security 
has made you careless. A company of soldiers is close 
behind me; but your young men have been asleep. The 
squaws have retained them in camp, when they should 
have been on the lookout. I am not in your power, but 
you, personally, are in mine. Your people can kill me, 
but not until I have put a ball through your body. Any 
signal you may make to them, or any forward movement 
on their part, will also be signal for your death. If you 



26 LIFE AMONG THE APACHES. 

do not believe me, wait a few moments, and you will see 
my friends come round the point of yonder hill. They 
are many, and intend to remain several moons in your 
country. If you treat them well you will grow rich and 
get many presents, but if you treat them badly they will 
search you out among the rocks and hills of your coun 
try, will take possession of your watering places, will 
destroy your plantations and kill your warriors. Now 
choose." 

Cuchillo Negro. "For many years no white man has 
penetrated these regions, and we do not permit people 
to enter our country without knowing their purpose. If 
you had friends, as you say, you would not have left 
them and come on alone, for that is foolish. My young 
men have not been led away by the squaws, for there are 
none within two sun's march, and if you had a large 
party with you, they would have known it and given me 
notice. You have many guns, but I have many men, 
and you cannot escape if I give the signal." 

American. "Indian, I don't think you will give that 
signal so long as you and I are so close together. Wait 
a few moments, and see whether I tell the truth." 

This proposition was finally agreed to by him, and we 
sat on our horses waiting the approach of the carriage. 
It is unnecessary to say what my feelings were during 
the next quarter of an hour, nor to explain the manoeuvres 
each adopted to get or keep the advantage of his enemy. 
I feel incapable of doing justice to the occasion. At the 
expiration of the time mentioned, the carriage hove in 
sight, about a quarter of a mile off, rounding the point 
of the mountain, and it had been detained so much dur 
ing the march through the rocky and terrible defile that 
the infantry had come up with it and presented a for 
midable array of glittering tubes immediately in its rear. 



LIFE AMONG THE APACHES. 27 

At this unexpected sight, Cuchillo Negro gazed for a 
moment like one in a dream, but quickly collecting him 
self, he advanced directly toward me, extending his right 
hand and saying, " Jeunie, jeunie/" which means friendly, 
amicable, good. I refused to take his hand lest he might 
suddenly jerk me off my horse and stab me while falling, 
but contented myself by saying, " Estamos amigos" we 
are friends. He then turned quickly and rode off at full 
speed, attended by his warriors. They disappeared in 
another rocky canon, about four hundred yards distant. 
It was subsequently my fate to meet this savage sev 
eral other times, and I am satisfied that the remembrance 
of our interview on the occasion above narrated, did 
me no harm either with him or the balance of his tribe. 

After leaving Dona Ana, our way led across the lower 
portion of the Jornada del Muerto until we arrived at 
what is known as the San Diego crossing of the Bio 
Grande, a mile or two below where Fort Thorne was 
subsequently built. As the Jornada del Muerto was the 
scene of another incident, its description is postponed 
for the present. The Rio Grande was crossed without 
much difficulty, and our camp formed near a large lagoon 
on the western bank of the river. This lagoon was in 
fested by wild ducks and brant, and the Apaches took 
great numbers of them in the following manner. 

In the early winter, when these birds commenced to 
arrive in great flocks, the Apaches took large numbers of 
gourds and set them adrift on the windward side of the 
lagoon, whence they were gradually propelled by the 
wind until they reached the opposite side, when they 
were recovered and again set adrift. At first, the ducks 
and geese exhibit dread and suspicion of these strange 
floating objects, but soon get used to them, and pay 
them no further attention. Having arrived at this stage, 



28 LIFE AMONG THE APACHES. 

the Indians then fit these gourds upon their heads, hav 
ing been furnished with holes for the eyes, nose and 
mouth, and, armed with a bag, they enter the water 
not over five feet deep in any part and exactly imitating 
the bobbing motion of the empty gourd upon the water, 
succeed in getting close enough to the birds, which are 
then caught by the feet, suddenly dragged under water, 
and stowed in the bag. The dexterity and naturalness 
with which this is done almost exceeds belief, yet it is a 
common thing among them. 

About eighteen or twenty miles east of the Copper 
Mines of Santa Rita, is a hot spring, the waters of which 
exhibit a heat of 125 degrees Fahrenheit, and after hav 
ing crossed the Mimbres, the whole party directed its 
course to this spring. After examining it thoroughly, 
and having the qualities of its water tested by Dr. Webb, 
we prosecuted our march; but my attention was soon 
after arrested by a number of antelopes feeding on the 
plain, not more than half a mile distant. Anxious to 
procure one, I left the party, and, galloping in the direc 
tion of the herd, arrived within five hundred yards of it, 
when I dismounted and tying my horse to a yucca bush, 
proceeded cautiously on foot, carbine in hand. Crawl 
ing from bush to bush, and hiding behind every stone 
which offered any shelter, I got within handsome range 
of a fine buck, and feeling sure that the animal could 
not escape me, I raised to fire, when, just as I was taking 
aim, I was astonished to see the animal raise erect upon 
its hind legs, and heard it cry out, in fair Spanish, " No 
tiros, no liras!" don't fire, don't fire! What I would 
have sworn was an antelope, proved to be a young In 
dian, the son of Ponce, a chief, who, having enveloped 
himself in an antelope's skin, with head, horns and all 
complete, had gradually crept up to the herd under his 



LIFE AMONG THE APACHES. 29 

disguise, until his operations were brought to an untimely 
end by perceiving my aim directed at him. The Apaches 
frequently adopt this method of hunting, and imitate 
the actions of the antelopes so exactly as to completely 
mislead those animals with the belief that their deadliest 
enemy is one of their number. 

We arrived at the Copper Mines, without further acci 
dent, one day in advance of our military escort, and had 
no sooner pitched our tent than we were visited by some 
eight or ten of the most villainous looking Apaches it is 
possible to conceive. Although the weather was exceed 
ingly cold, with snow six inches deep on a level, and, in 
some places where it had drifted, as deep as three or four 
feet, the Indians were wholly nude, with the exception 
of a diminutive breech cloth. They bore no arms of any 
kind and pretended to be very friendly, having undoubt 
edly seen our train and escort crossing the plain from 
their various places of observation on the top of Ben 
Moore, which is eight thousand feet high. Our mules 
were hitched to the several wheels of the carriage and 
my horse in the rear, while one of our party kept constant 
and vigilant watch over the animals. When night fell 
Dr. Webb informed the Apaches, through me, that they 
must leave camp, which they did after receiving a few 
presents in the shape of tobacco, beads and some cotton 
cloth. A rousing fire was then made in front of the tent, 
and after a hearty supper our small party retired upon 
their arms, with one man on guard. It was afterwards 
discovered that among our visitors were the renowned 
warriors Delgadito, Ponce and Coletto Amarillo. These 
were their Mexican names their Indian appellations I 
never learned. 

About 11 o'clock, A. M., next day, Col. Craig appeared 
with his command, and formally took possession of the 



30 LIFE AMONG THE APACHES. 

Copper Mines, the great head-quarters of the redoubtable 
chief, Mangas Colorado, or the "Ked Sleeves/ 3 beyond 
all comparison the most famous Apache warrior and 
statesman of the present century. The word statesman 
is used advisedly in his case, as will be made apparent to 
the reader in the course of his perusal. The term 
chief will also be found, hereafter, to have a very great 
modification, in so far as refers to the Apache race. 

The Copper Mines of Santa Rita are located imme 
diately at the foot of a huge and prominent mount 
ain, named Ben Moore. These extensive mines had been 
abandoned for the space of eighty years, but were un 
commonly rich and remunerative. They were formerly 
owned by a wealthy Mexican company, wjho sent the ore 
to Chihuahua, where a Government mint existed, and 
had the ore refined and struck into the copper coinage 
of the country. Although the distance was over three 
hundred miles, and every pound of ore had to be trans 
ported on pack mules, yet it proved a paying business, 
and mining was vigorously prosecuted for a space of 
some twenty years. Huge masses of ore, yielding from 
sixty to ninety per cent, of pure copper, are still visible 
all about the mine, and frequently considerable pieces of 
pure copper are met with by the visitor. The reason for 
its sudden and long abandonment was asked, and the 
following story related. 

During the period that the Mexicans carried on opera 
tions at the mines, the Apaches appeared very friendly, 
receiving frequent presents, and visiting the houses of 
the miners without question. But every now and then 
the Mexicans lost a few mules, or had a man or two 
killed, and their suspicions were roused against the 
Apaches, who stoutly denied all knowledge of these acts 
and put on an air of offended pride. This state of affairs 



LIFE AMONG THE APACHES. 31 

continued to grow worse and worse, until an English 
man, named Johnson, undertook to "settle matters," 
and to that end received carte blanche from his Mexican 
employers. Johnson ordered & fiesta, or feast, prepared, 
and invited all the Copper Mine Apaches to partake. 
The invitation was joyfully accepted, and between nine 
hundred and a thousand, including men, women and 
children, assembled to do justice to the hospitality of 
their entertainers. They were caused to sit grouped to 
gether as much as possible, while their host had prepared 
a six-pounder gun, loaded to the muzzle with slugs, 
musket balls, nails and pieces of glass, within one hun 
dred yards of their main body. This cannon was con 
cealed under a pile of pack saddles and other rubbish, 
but trained on the spot to be occupied by the Apaches. 
The time arrived; the feast was ready; the gun loaded 
and primed; Johnson stood ready with a lighted cigar 
to give the parting salute, and while all were eating as 
Apaches only can eat, the terrible storm of death was 
sped into their ranks, killing, wounding and maiming 
several hundred. This fearful volley was immediately 
followed up by a charge on the part of the Mexicans, 
who showed no pity to the wounded until nearly four 
hundred victims had been sacrificed at this feast of death. 
The survivors fled in dismay, and for several months the 
miners fancied they had forever got rid of the much 
hated Apaches. It was an ill-grounded hope, as the 
sequel proved. 

The Oopper Mines were entirely dependent upon Chi 
huahua for all supplies, and large conductors, or trains 
with guards, were employed in the business of bringing 
in such supplies, and taking away the ore. So regular 
had been the arrival and departure of these trains, that 
no efforts were made to retain provisions enough on hand 



32 LIFE AMONG THE APACHES. 

in the event of a failure to arrive. Besides, no molesta 
tion of any kind had been experienced since Johnson's 
experiment. ' At length three or four clays passed beyond 
the proper time for the conducta's arrival; provision was 
becoming exceedingly scarce; ammunition had been ex 
pended freely; no thought for the morrow had taken 
possession of their minds, and everything went on in the 
hap-hazard way of thoughtless Mexicans. No attempt 
was made to. send a party in quest of the lost train, nor 
was any economy exercised. Two or three days more 
passed, and they were on the verge of starvation. The 
surrounding forests of heavy pines still furnished bear 
and turkeys, and other game in abundance, but their 
ammunition was becoming exceedingly scarce. In this 
dilemma some of the miners climbed Ben Moore, which 
gave a distinct view of the extensive plain reaching to 
and beyond the Mimbres river, but no sign of the con- 
ducta was visible. It was then ordered that a well-armed 
party should set out and discover its fate, but those who 
were to be left behind resolved to go also, as they would 
otherwise be forced to remain without means of defence 
or provisions. On a given day every man, woman and 
child residing in the Copper Mines took their departure; 
but they never reached their place of destination. The 
relentless Apaches had foreseen all these troubles, and 
taken measures accordingly. The party left, but their 
bones, with the exception of only four or five, lie bleach 
ing upon the wide expanse between the Copper Mines of 
Santa Rita and the town of Chihuahua. Such is the 
narrative given me by an intelligent Mexican, whom I 
afterward met in Sonora. From that time for more than 
eighty years, the Apache had remained the unmolested 
master of this his great stronghold. This long interval 
of quiescence was rudely interrupted by the advent of 



LIFE AMONG THE APACHES. 33 

the military escort to the Boundary Commission, which 
immediately commenced repairing the half-ruined pre 
sidio, and rendering some fifty small adobe buildings 
habitable for the members of the Commission. These^ 
proceedings were watched with great interest and un 
feigned anxiety by the Apaches, who frequently asked 
whether we intended to remain at the Copper Mines, and 
as frequently received a reply in the negative. The real 
object of our stay was explained to them; but they could 
not conceive that people should take so much pains to 
build houses and render them comfortable only for a 
short residence, to be again abandoned at the very period 
when men could live in the open air without disquietude. 

Shortly afterward, the whole Commission, numbering 
some two hundred and fifty well-armed men, arrived, 
making a total force of over three hundred men. This 
odds was more than the Apaches could face, with any 
prospect of success, and they relapsed into the better 
part of valor, under the advice of Mangas Colorado and 
his leading warriors. The gentle nomads pitched their 
main camp about two miles from the Copper Mines, and 
made frequent visits to observe our movements and to 
practice their skill in begging. 

Although the Copper Mine, or Mimbres Apaches, have 
signalized themselves by many of the boldest and most 
daring exploits, they are not physically comparable to 
the Mescalero, Jicarilla and Chiricahui branches of the 
same tribe. But what they lack in personal strength 
they make up in wiliness and endurance. No amount of 
cold, hunger or thirst seems to have any appreciable 
effect upon an Apache. "Whatever his sufferings, no com 
plaint or murmur is ever heard to escape his lips, and he 
is always ready to engage in any enterprise which prom 
ises a commensurate reward. Ten Apaches will under- 



34 LIFE AMONG THE APACHES. 

take a venture which will stagger the courage and nerve 
of a hundred Yurnas, Pimos or Navajoes, although the 
last mentioned tribe is an undoubted branch of the Apache 
race, as will be shown in a subsequent chapter. The cun 
ning of the Apache is only equaled by his skill and the 
audacity with which he executes his projects, and every 
success is chuckled over with undissembled gusto by the 
whole tribe, the actors only assuming an unconcerned 
air, as if wholly disconnected with the matter. Their 
conversation is always carried on in low tones, and only 
one person ever presumes to speak at a time. There is 
no interruption to the speaker's remarks; but when he 
ceases another takes the word, and either replies or in 
dorses the opinions of his predecessor. During a general 
conversation on indifferent topics they separate into sev 
eral small knots, and in each the above rules are strictly 
observed. 

I had selected the most lovery spot in the valley for 
the site of my tent, which was some six hundred yards 
distant from the rest, and shut out from sight by an inter 
vening hillock. At this place the stream widened into a 
handsome basin ten yards across, and with a little labor 
I had built a sort of dam, which raised the water in the 
basin to the depth of about three and a half feet, and 
formed a delicious bathing pool, which was shaded by 
a very large and spreading cotton wood tree. At this 
place the Apaches frequently congregated in consider 
able numbers, maintaining a lively conversation, and 
enabling me to make many observations I could not 
otherwise have done. As I was the only member of the 
Commission with whom they could converse, my tent 
became their head-quarters during their visits, which were 
almost daily for several consecutive months, until our 
amicable relations were broken up by their irrepressible 
rascality and treachery. 



CHAPTER IY. 

Journey to Sonora. Adventure \vith Apaches. Fronteras. Mexican Dread of 
Indians. Gen. Carasco. Janos. Mexican Policy toward the Apaches. 
Carasco's Raid. Gandara, Monteverde and Urea. Death of Carasco. 
Arispe. Apache Prisoners. Mexican Guard. Apaches Attacking a Mexi 
can Train. Curious Style of Pursuit. Return to the Copper Mines. 
Americans Attacked by Apaches. Traits of Apache Character. Craftiness. 

WERE I to diverge from the proposed plan of narrating 
only what appertains directly to the elucidation of Indian 
character, etc., this work might be continued through a 
series of volumes; but the object of the writer is to con 
dense his remarks to such incidents as have relation only 
to the various Indian tribes he encountered in the course 
of nine years experience among them. 

In May, the Commissioner resolved on a journey into 
Sonora, to ascertain whether supplies of corn, flour, sheep, 
and cattle, could be depended upon from that State for 
the use of the Commission operating along its northern 
frontier, and also for other objects immediately affecting 
the welfare of the body under his orders, and the prose 
cution of the work committed to his charge. On the 
afternoon of the third day we camped at a place where 
several holes had been dug by previous travelers, and 
being full of sweet water they offered us the first refresh 
ment of the kind we had enjoyed for forty-eight hours. 
The country for a long distance was a perfect plain, un 
broken even by rocks or trees, with here and there a 
shrub, but none over eighteen inches high. At this 
place, on a subsequent occasion, an incident illustrative 



6b LIFE AMONG THE APACHES. 

of the Apache race occurred, and it is related here, al 
though having no connection with our march, for the 
sake of condensation. 

Several years after accompanying Mr. Bartlett, it be 
came necessary for a small party of Americans, five all 
told, to visit Sonora for provisions, and knowing the road 
I served as guide. One evening we encamped at the 
place mentioned above, and again found water for our 
famishing party and their animals. It was a God-send, 
as we had been without water for nearly sixt}^ hours. In 
dian signs in abundance had been observed during the 
day, and we were all alive to the importance of keeping 
the strictest watch; accordingly two were placed upon 
guard at a time. Richard Purdy and myself took the 
first watch, each one occupying a flank of the camp, cer 
tainly not a large one, but of the utmost importance. 
Knowing the nature of the savages, it was agreed that 
we should not walk our posts, but conceal ourselves as 
much as possible and keep a sharp lookout. Before 
nightfall, Purdy and myself took the exact bearings of 
each shrub within pistol range, and quietly assumed our 
positions flat down in the grass, each man being sheltered 
by a small bush. There was no moon, but a bright star 
light enabled us to perceive objects at some distance. 
The evening passed quietly, and at eleven o'clock we 
called two more of our comrades, who assumed our 
places, after having pointed out to them our precautions. 
At two o'clock, A. M. , we were again roused to resume 
guard, and each one took his position. Scarcely an hour 
had elapsed when it arcpeared to me that a certain small 
bush had changed position somewhat; but not liking to 
create a false alarm and be laughed at for my pains, I 
merely determined to watch it with earnest attention. 
My suspicions and precaution were amply rewarded by 



LIFE AMONG THE APACHES. 37 

perceiving the bush to approach, very gradually indeed, 
but still unmistakably. I dared not call to Purdy, but 
got ray rifle to bear, as nearly as possible, upon the root 
of the bush. When I thought my aim good, and felt 
tolerably sure of my sights, I pulled the trigger. The 
shot was followed by the yells of some fifteen Apaches, 
who had approached within thirty paces of our camp by 
covering their heads with grass and crawling upon their 
bellies. Our comrades jumped to their feet and com 
menced shooting at the Indians, who discharged one 
volley into our camp and left us masters of the field. 
We lost one horse, killed, and had another slightly 
wounded; but a search developed the Apache of the 
moving bush lying dead, with a hole through his head. 
Without waiting for dawn the animals were immediately 
got ready and the party again started on its trip, fearing 
that the Apaches might get ahead and waylay them in 
some dangerous pass or canon. 

Accompanying the Commissioner, in the course of time 
we arrived at Agua Prieta, from whence I was dispatched 
with Mr. Thurber and Mr. Stewart to discover the town 
of Fronteras, and ascertain whether it could be reached 
with wagons. Mounting our horses we pursued a straight 
line for the supposed site of the town, passing through 
some chapparel and over broken ridges, until we arrived 
upon an extensive and beautiful plain, over which we 
galloped with free rein. About half an hour before 
sundown, we discovered a few thin columns of smoke 
ascending to the right of our road, and nearly ahead, 
from the top of a slight eminence about three miles dis 
tant. A few minutes brought us to the spot, but we 
could perceive no inhabitants about the houses on the 
plain, but raising our eyes to the hill, we saw the entire 
population of some nine hundred souls, besides four hun- 
3 



38 LIFE AMONG THE APACHES. 

dred soldiers, huddled together in evident alarm. They 
had taken us for Apaches, and fled in dismay to the 
presidio and protection of the military; but when they 
discovered that we were Americans, nothing could ex 
ceed their wonder at our hardihood and folly, as they 
termed it, in penetrating the country with so small a 
party. This fact will give the reader some idea of the 
abject terror with which the poor Mexicans on the fron 
tiers of Sonora, Chihuahua and Durango regard the 
Apache Indians. 

To persons not aware of the causes, this timidity would 
appear as rank cowardice; but, however true such a 
charge would be of the masses, yet it must be acknowl 
edged that there are notable exceptions. The Mexicans 
on the northern frontier are the very lowest and poorest 
of their countrymen. Living in hovels and sustaining 
themselves in some manner never yet determined or as 
certained by any other people, almost wholly without 
arms or ammunition, and brought up from their earliest 
infancy to entertain the most abject dread and horror of 
the Apaches, they are forever after unable to divest them 
selves of the belief that an Apache warrior is not a man, 
but some terrible ogre against whom it is useless to con 
tend, and who is only to be avoided by flight or appeased 
by unconditional submission. 

At Fronteras I met with Gen. Carasco, Military Gov 
ernor of Sonora, and an old enemy whom it had been 
my lot to confront during the Mexican war. The Gen 
eral received us with marked hospitality and kindness; 
offered us refreshments of which we stood greatly in 
need, and dispatched runners to show Mr. Bartlett the 
way into the town. During the evening's session, which 
lasted into the "wee sma' hours ayont the twal," the 
conversation turned upon the battle of Cerro Gordo, 



LIFE AMONG THE APACHES. 39 

where the General commanded a brigade, and we dis 
covered that he barely escaped falling into our hands. 
Discussing the character of the Apaches and the policy 
of the Mexican Government in their regard, the General 
made the following remarks : 

"There is a small town named Janos, in Chihuahua, 
near the eastern boundary of Sonora, where the Apaches 
have for several years been received and provided with 
rations by the Government of that State, although the 
same Indians were at the time in open war with the 
Mexicans of Sonora. Not being able to comprehend the 
virtue of a policy which feeds Indians in one State that 
they might prey upon and destroy the citizens of an 
other, I concluded that my duty was to destroy the enemy 
wherever I could find him. Acting upon this decision, 
I waited until the allotted time for the Apaches to visit 
Janos to obtain their regular quarterly rations, and, by 
forced marches at night, succeeded in reaching the place 
just as the carnival was at its height. We killed a hun 
dred and thirty, and took about ninety prisoners, princi 
pally women and children. Col. Medina, commanding 
the State of Chihuahua, was so enraged at my action, 
that he made formal complaint to the Supreme Govern 
ment, which, however, after some unnecessary delay, ap 
proved of my course/' 

I expressed much astonishment at such a condition of 
affairs, when Carasco added: "It is the old story; our 
territory is enormous, and our Government weak. It 
cannot extend its protecting arms throughout all portions 
of the country. Whole provinces are left for years to 
themselves, except in the matter of taxation, and things 
run to ruin. It is to this cause that frequent pronuncia- 
mentos are attributed. The richest man in either of the 
distant States is actual lord of the State, and can always 



40 LIFE AMONG THE APACHES. 

set the Government at defiance, because it costs so much 
to reduce him to subordination. I will give you an in 
stance in point. During the American war, Manuel 
Gandara loaned the sum of four hundred thousand dol 
lars to the Supreme Government, receiving its acknowl 
edgements for that amount, with interest at the rate of 
ten per cent, per annum. After the war, during the 
administration of Pena y Pefia, an election for Governor 
took place in Sonora, in which Manuel Gandara and 
Manuel Monteverde were the competitors. These fami 
lies were as deadly rivals as the houses of Borneo and 
Capulet; and when the voting was over, each candidate 
claimed the election. As usual, neither applied to the 
Supreme Government for arbitration, but each sum 
moned its forces and engaged in civil war. Gandara 
was backed by his numerous friends, peons, and the 
Yaqui Indians, while Monteverde enlisted the interests 
of many prominent Sonorians, and the Opatah and Pap- 
ago tribes. War raged for a long time, until Monte 
verde applied to the General Government for protection. 
Gen. Urea was sent with a force of three thousand reg 
ulars to suppress Gandara, and for a time succeeded. 
At this stage of the proceedings, Gandara called upon 
the Supreme Government to refund his loan of four 
hundred thousand dollars, threatening that if payment 
were not forthcoming, he would assign his claim to the 
British Government. This threat had its effect, and 
soon after Gandara was put in possession of an order, 
emanating from the Secretary of War, to the effect that 
Urea had been operating without proper warrant of au 
thority, and that if Gandara could catch that officer, he 
was at liberty to suspend him by the neck. This thor 
oughly frightened Urea, who immediately returned to 
the capital." 



LIFE AMONG THE APACHES. 41 

/' added Carasco, "you can appreciate the del 
icate position in whi^h I find myself. I am ordered to 
the military command of Sonora, but am supplied with 
neither men nor money. Every day I was pained by 
accounts of dreadful Apache raids, in which men were 
massacred ; women and children carried off captives; 
horses and property destroyed, and extensive districts 
laid waste and abandoned. At length I resorted to 
forced contributions from the rich and impressed the 
poor, determined they should fight for their own in 
terests. This makes me unpopular with all parties, and 
I expect, some day, to be assassinated for my zeal in their 
behalf." Prophetic words! In less than a year Carasco 
was taken off by poison; so, at least, it was reported. 

"Wending our way from Fronteras we reached Arispe, 
the former capital of Sonora, on the 31st of May, 1850. 
At the time of our visit the place contained about twelve 
hundred inhabitants; but no American can possibly con 
jecture the terror felt by the people, of all classes, when 
ever it w r as announced that the Apaches were near. The 
second day after our arrival five Apache prisoners two 
warriors and three women were brought into town under 
a strong guard of twenty-five soldiers, and lodged in the 
town jail to await their ultimate destination. Two days 
afterward the rain poured down in torrents; the night 
was exceedingly dark and stormy ; reverberating peals of 
thunder shook the solid hills,' and repeated flashes of the 
most vivid lightning inspired the beholder with awe. 
The Mexican guard over the prisoners retired within 
and lighted their cigaritos, or engaged in the hazards of 
monte. The doors were securely closed and all prepared 
to pass the watch away with as much relish as the circum 
stances w r ould permit. A little after midnight certain 
peculiar noises were heard about the prison and were 



42 LIFE AMONG THE APACHES. 

repeated with an emphasis which compelled attention. 
Instinctively the guard knew that these noises proceeded 
from Apaches who were in quest of their incarcerated 
friends, and the fact was quickly made apparent by the 
prisoners, who commenced a chant in their native tongue 
loud enough to be heard outside. Here was a dilemma. 
The Indians were undoubtedly watching the door with 
intense interest, and no one dared go forth in that im 
penetrable gloom to face the savage foe. The force of 
the enemy was unknown. The citizens could not be re 
lied upon for aid; no one would come to their assistance 
if attacked; they only numbered eight men and a sergeant, 
and they were panic-stricken. Perceiving this state of 
affairs, the Apache prisoners boldly advanced and de 
manded to be let out, at the same time giving fearful 
yells to apprise their friends of their designs, which were 
seconded by repeated strokes of heavy stones against the 
door. In their overpowering terror the guard mustered 
its whole strength, opened the door slightly and per 
mitted their savage charge to leave. It is needless to add 
that they were never seen more. This is no figment of 
the brain, but the real, undisguised fact, and is recorded 
for the purpose of showing how completely the Apaches 
have control of the Mexican race upon the frontier. 

Another incident illustrative of this supremacy occurred 
in the same town. A band of fifteen Apaches pursued a 
pack train and overtook it within three hundred yards of 
Arispe. The arrieros saved themselves by speedy night, 
but the train was plundered and the mules driven off. 
"Within an hour nearly two hundred armed men assembled 
with the avowed purpose of pursuing the savages and re 
covering the plunder. I happened to be on the Plaza at 
the time, and had just before observed the Indians mak 
ing for the mountains lying east of the town. Which 



LIFE AMONG THE APACHES. 43 

way did they go ? asked the Mexican leader. I pointed 
out the direction, and also called his attention to the vol 
ume of dust raised by the retreating savages. He thanked 
me, placed himself at the head of his column, cried out, 
"Marchamos valientes" let us march, brave fellows and 
took a course the very opposite of the one pointed out. 
I then and there made up my mind, that if a similar affair 
should ever happen where I was, and a Mexican should 
inquire the route of the Indians, I would indicate the 
opposite to the one actually taken. 

On our return from Sonora we met a force of two hun 
dred Mexican soldiers in the Guadalupe Pass, who in 
formed us that a party of ten Americans had been waylaid 
by the Apaches near the town of Janos, in Chihuahua, 
and that one was killed and three others wounded, the 
panic-stricken survivors saving themselves by precipitate 
flight. I felt convinced that this villainy had been per 
petrated by the Copper Mine Apaches, who had been so 
seemingly friendly with us, but could not substantiate 
the charge. Subsequent revelations satisfied me that my 
suspicions were well founded, for soon after our arrival 
at the Copper Mines Mr. Bartlett sounded Mangas Colo 
rado on the subject, but he denied any knowledge what 
ever of the affair; yet two days afterward admitted that 
he knew about it, and said that it had been done by some 
bad young men over whom he had no control. 

An Apache is trained from his earliest infancy to regard 
all other people as his natural enemies. He is taught that 
the chief excellence of man is to outwit his fellows. He 
is made to feel that the highest honors are bestowed upon 
him who is master of the greatest amount of rascality. 
The favors of the women are lavished upon the most 
adroit thief, because his dexterity enables him to furnish 
a more copious supply to their wants and caprices. As 



44 LIFE AMONG THE APACHES. 

they never engage in any pursuit except that of war and 
the chase, all their worldly goods are the results of their 
skill and proficiency in these vocations. Polygamy being 
an institution among them, the man who can support or 
keep, or attract by his power to keep, the greatest num 
ber of women, is the man who is deemed entitled to the 
greatest amount of honor and respect. Gianatah is a 
great brave, said one in my hearing does he not keep 
seven squaws ? and yet Gianatah was not, so far as per 
sonal bravery goes, the leading warrior of his band; but 
he was the most dexterous thief. 

After our return to the Copper Mines, I was sitting in 
front of my tent one afternoon, writing a letter, when an 
Apache approached and for some reason regarded me 
attentively. 

" What are you doing? " he at length inquired. 
" Talking to my friends at home/' 
' ' But how can you talk to them so far off? " 
" I will tell you. When the Apache desires to indicate 
speed he makes the figure of a bird; if he wishes to de 
note something beautiful or sweet, he delineates a flower; 
if he desires to express sloth, he makes the figure of a 
tortoise. These facts you know; but we do not use those 
symbols, and in their place we have agreed upon certain, 
characters, which being put together make words and 
indicate ideas. For instance, you see we make such 
marks; well, I send this paper to my friends, and they 
know just what these marks mean, the same as you would 
know what a bird or a tortoise meant; because we have 
all agreed upon a distinct and special interpretation." 
These ideas were expressed to him in Spanish with great 
distinctness, and repeated until he seemed to comprehend 
their gist. 

The savage pondered for a while, and then said: " I 



LIFE AMONG THE APACHES. 45 

do not believe you; those characters all seem alike; no 
body can distinguish any difference among many of them; 
you are trying to fool me, and make me believe you are 
a great medicine man." 

" Indian," I answered, " I will give you proof. You 
see yonder man? He is the sutler. I will give you a 
note to him, authorizing you to receive a piece of tobacco; 
he is at least four hundred yards away, and cannot know 
of this conversation. If he gives you the tobacco on the 
reception of my note, you must believe." 

"Very good; my white-eyed brother speaks well. I 
will make the trial, and will see if he says truth." 

The note was written and delivered to my copper- 
colored friend, who started off on a brisk trot until he 
reached the sutler, to whom he delivered his order. 
Having read it, the sutler handed him a piece of tobacco, 
which seemed greatly to excite his astonishment. My 
friend looked at the weed, then scratched his head and 
looked again, in undisguised wonderment, advancing 
toward my tent steadily. "When within twenty yards, I 
noticed his eyes gleam with suppressed satisfaction, and 
hastily coming up, he said: 

"Look here, white man, you try to make a fool of 
poor Apache. You and the other man made this thing 
up beforehand, to force me into the belief that you are a 
great medicine. Now, if you want me to believe you, 
just write another letter for another piece of tobacco, and 
if he gives it to me, then I will believe." 

It is needless to add that the cunning ruse of the 
Apache to secure two pieces of tobacco, did not succeed. 

Although my tent was so far removed from, the rest of 
the Commission as to render me isolated from the pro 
tection of my comrades, I never experienced any alarm, 
as I possessed two very large and fine dogs, and was ac- 



46 LIFE AMONG THE APACHES. 

companied by my servant, Josd, a faithful and brave Mex 
ican boy, of some nineteen years of age. My armory 
consisted of four six-shooters, two rifles, a double-bar 
reled shot gun, two bowie-knives, and plenty of ammu 
nition for each weapon. I could discharge twenty-eight 
shots without reloading, and backed by Jose and my 
faithful dogs, which kept the strictest watch at night, I 
was satisfied that a moderate band of Indians could be 
kept at bay until assistance arrived. This fancied secur 
ity was destroyed after a few weeks, by a circumstance 
which will be related in a future chapter; but it required 
very strong motives to induce my relinquishment of the 
most pleasant location at the Copper Mines. 






CHAPTER Y. 

Mangas Colorado. His Personal Appearance, Power, and Influence. Indian 
Forces at the Copper Mines. The Navajoes. Their Appearance and Sub 
sequent Acts. Their Schemes Foiled. Mangas in Full Uniform. Strange 
Mode of Attire. Inez Gonzales. Her Rescue. New Mexican Traders. 
Summary Proceedings. Story of Inez. March into Sonora. Santa Cruz. 
Restoration of Inez. Her subsequent History. Tanori. 

MANGAS COLORADO, or Ked Sleeves, was, undoubtedly, 
the most prominent and influential Apache who has 
existed for a century. Gifted with a large and powerful 
frame, corded with iron-like sinews and muscles, and 
possessed of far more than an ordinary amount of brain 
strength, he succeeded, at an early age, in winning a 
reputation unequaled in his tribe. His daring exploits, 
his wonderful resources, his diplomatic abilities, and his 
wise teachings in council soon surrounded him with a 
large and influential band, which gave him a sort of 
prestige and sway among the various branches of his 
race, and carried his influence from the Colorado river to 
the Guadalupe mountains. Throughout Arizona and 
New Mexico, Mangas Colorado was a power in the land. 
Yet he could assume no authority not delegated to him 
by his people. He never presumed to speak for them 
as one having authority, but invariably said he would 
use his influence to perform certain promises and engage 
ments. Mangas, in one of his raids into Sonora, carried 
off a handsome and intelligent Mexican girl, whom he 
made his wife, to the exclusion of his Apache squaws. 
This singular favoritism bred some trouble in the tribe 



48 LIFE AMONG THE APACHES. 

for a short time, but was suddenly ended by Mangas 
challenging any of the offended brothers or relatives of 
his discarded wives. Two accepted the wager, and both 
were killed in fair duel. By his Mexican wife Mangas 
had three really beautiful daughters, and through his 
diplomatic ability, he managed to wive one with the chief 
of the Navajoes; another with the leading man of the 
Mescalero Apaches, and the third with the war chief of 
th^ Coyoteros. By so doing, he acquired a very great 
influence in these tribes, and, whenever he desired, could 
obtain their assistance in his raids. His height was about 
six feet; his head was enormously large, with a broad, 
bold forehead, a large acquiline nose, a most capacious 
mouth, and broad, heavy chin. His eyes were rather 
small, but exceedingly brilliant and flashing when under 
any excitement although his outside demeanor was as 
imperturbable as brass. This is the man we met at the 
Copper Mines; but as his name will be mentioned many 
times in the course of this narrative, in connection with 
his acts, no more need be added at present. His most 
immediate counselors and attaches were Delgadito, 
Ponce, Cuchillo Negro, Coletto Amarillo, El Chico, and 
Pedro Azul. These were all appellations bestowed by 
Mexicans, and not their Apache names, which I never 
learned. 

The Indian force about the Copper Mines amounted, 
according to my calculations, to four hundred warriors, 
who were no match for the three hundred well armed 
and thoroughly organized Americans.at the place. Four 
or five weeks elapsed in amicable intercourse with the 
Apaches; but from occasional expressions, I felt con 
vinced that Mangas had sought aid for the purpose of 
expelling us at the earliest possible moment. Nothing, 
however, occurred to strengthen my suspicions, and I 



LIFE AMONG THE APACHES. 49 

had almost dismissed them entirely, when I was sur 
prised one morning to see the camp full of strange sav 
ages, who proved to be Navajoes, and were on the best 
terms with the Apaches. The new comers were fine 
looking, physically, but carried in their faces that name 
less yet unmistakable impress of low cunning and 
treachery, which I afterward found to be the leading- 
traits of their tribe. Although they are of the great 
Apache race, speaking identically the same language 
and observing the same general habits of life in all 
respects, yet they are far inferior in point of courage, 
prowess, skill and intelligence. Five Apache warriors 
will undertake and accomplish an exploit which no 
fifty Navajoes would venture to perform. A. single 
Apache will go off, unaided, and commit a daring rob 
bery or murder which twenty Navajoes would shrink 
from attempting. 

Our new visitors were all mounted on small, but strong, 
active and wiry looking horses, which they rode with 
remarkable ease and grace. Feeling satisfied in m}^ own 
mind that they had come there at the request of Mangas 
Colorado, I advised Col. Craig of my suspicions, and he, 
in turn, imparted the idea to Mr. Bartlett. We learned 
that four hundred Navajo warriors were encamped on 
the Gila river, only thirty miles distant, and knew that 
the Indian Commissariat could not support so great a 
number for any length of time, and that no such assem 
blage would have been got together in that portion of 
the country unless for some determined purpose. The 
hunting grounds around the Copper Mines offered no 
special inducement, as they must have crossed a hundred 
and fifty miles of better hunting country to arrive where 
they then were. There was no trading to rely upon, and 
on special incentive other than to help Mangas in driv- 



50 LIFE AMONG THE APACHES. 

ing us out of the place, or assisting him to steal our 
animals. 

Their visits were very regular for three or four days, 
when, probably finding us too strong and too much 
on our guard to attack, they disappeared for a while, to 
return some weeks after and help to carry off our horses 
and mules. Daring their stay, my tent and its neigh 
borhood were crowded with these savages, who asked me 
a multitude of questions, but never answered one of 
mine. This reticence on their part taught me a lesson, 
and I soon learned to endure their presence with perfect 
equanimity and nonchalance, smoking and replying to 
their queries with a simple nod or wave of the hand. 
My six-shooters and knife were always upon my person 
duiing these interviews, and my boy Jose sat in the back 
part of the tent with a Sharp's carbine and double bar 
reled gun, well loaded with buckshot, within easy reach. 
I never permitted a Navajo to get behind me, and, while 
treating them with courtesy, gave them to understand 
that I had no special feeling on the subject, but regarded 
their visits as a matter of course. 

It was a noticeable fact that neither Mangas Colorado 
or any of his leading men ever mixed with the Navajoes 
while in our camp, and judging this conduct somewhat 
strained and unnatural, Mr. "Wiems and myself deter 
mined to watch them. In pursuance of this object, we 
saddled our horses one evening after the Indians had re 
tired, for they were never permitted in camp after sun 
set, and very quietly picked our way to their bivouac, 
about two miles distant at that time. Gaining a slight 
eminence that overlooked them, we applied our field 
glasses, and, by the light of their fires, distinctly saw 
Mangas and the principal men in close conference with 
the leading Navajoes. This fact was also reported to 



LIFE AMONG THE APACHES. 51 

Col. Craig, who took additional precautions, which had 
the effect of relieving us from the presence of the new 
comers. In after years, it was my lot to make a very ex 
tensive and sanguinary acquaintance with this tribe, and 
the opportunity was improved to the utmost. Thousands 
of them were subjected to my control, and quite a num 
ber of them remembered me from the time we met at the 
Copper Mines. In several conversations I accused them 
of coming to aid Mangas, and assisting him in getting 
rid of his unwelcome intruders; and on each occasion 
they frankly admitted that they Lad visited the Copper 
Mines with that intention. Mangas had sent messengers 
to tell them that a large body of Americans had come 
into his country; that they were very rich in horses, 
mules, cotton cloth, beads, knives, pistols, rifles and 
ammunition; that he was not strong enough to murder 
and plunder us himself, and therefore required their aid, 
in which case one half the plunder was to be theirs, in 
the event of success. Lured by these promises, and 
urged by their chief, who was the son-in-law of Mangas, 
four hundred of them had come down to help that re 
nowned warrior. They met in council, and agreed to 
come in and spy out the land before commencing oper- 
'ations, little supposing that we would discern any differ 
ence between them and the Apaches proper. Should 
matters promise well, a sudden attack was to be made 
by their united forces; but if that was not practicable 
without great loss of life on their part, then the system 
of distressing us by stealing our animals and cutting off 
small parties, was to be adopted. All these statements 
I got from Manuelito and others, at Fort Sumner, thir 
teen years after our occupation of the Copper Mines in 
Arizona. The subject was frequently talked over, and 
remembered as vividly as if it were a thing of yesterday. 



52 LIFE AMONG THE APACHES. 

Mr. Bartlett, in order to retain the supposed friend 
ship of Mangas, had a fine pair of blue pants, ornamented 
with a wide red stripe down the outside of the legs, made 
for that respectable individual. To this were added a 
good field officer's uniform and epaulettes, given by Col. 
Craig, a new white shirt, black cravat, and an excellent 
pair of new shoes, such as are furnished to our soldiers. 
It was my duty to invest Mangas in his new suit, but 
some difficulty was experienced in getting him to wear 
his shirt inside of his pants instead of outside. After a 
time he made his appearance in grande tenue, evidently in 
love with his own elegant person. During the whole 
day he strutted about the camp, the envied of all behold 
ers, and as vain of his new dress as a peacock of his 
feathers. The next day Mangas failed to put in an ap 
pearance; but the day after he came, with his pantaloons 
wrapped around his waist; his shirt, dirty and partly 
torn, outside; his uniform coat buttoned to his chin; 
one epaulet on his breast, and the other fastened, bul 
lion down, between the hind buttons of his coat. In 
this guise he fancied himself an object worthy of uni 
versal admiration; and as he walked along, he would 
turn his eyes over his shoulder to relish the brilliant 
flashes of his posterior ornament. In less than a week, 
coat, shirt, pants and epaulettes were sported by another 
Indian after his fashion. Mangas had gambled them 
away, and the wearer was the fortunate winner. 

On the evening of the 27th of June, 1850, Mr. W. 
Bausman, Mr. J. E. "Wierns and myself were standing in 
front of the sutler's store, when we perceived a light, 
resembling a camp fire, about two hundred yards distant, 
near the banks of the creek. We knew that Indians 
were prohibited from being there after sundown, and as 
none of the Commission dwelt in that direction, it was 



LIFE AMONG THE APACHES. 53 

agreed to go and find out who were the campers about 
the fire. We approached cautiousty, and found our 
selves in a bivouac of Indians and Mexicans. Among 
them was a young and handsome girl, clothed in a tat 
tered chemise, with a buckskin skirt, and another skin 
thrown over her shoulders. This girl, who was not an In 
dian, appeared to be the waitress of the party, for whom 
she was preparing supper. As our approach had not 
been observed, we quietly proceeded to the cook fire, 
which was about four yards from the party, and I asked 
the girl, in a low voice, who those people were. She 
seemed evidently alarmed, and refusing to answer, hur 
ried away to wait upon her associates. We remained until 
she came back, when I told her that it was necessary for 
U3 to know who they were; to which she placed her fin 
ger on her lips, and betokened that she dared not tell. 
The question was, however, pressed, when she stated in 
a whisper that she was a captive, and that the Mexicans 
present had just bought her, and were going to convey 
her to New Mexico. As this thing was specially prohib 
ited by the United States laws, we made our way imme 
diately to Mr. Bartlett and laid the matter before that 
gentleman for his consideration. With great prompt 
itude Mr. Bartlett communicated the facts, in writing, 
to Col. Craig, and asked that gallant officer for a v force 
to rescue the girl from her unhappy condition. This re 
quest was granted as soon as possible, and Lieut. Green 
was ordered to take a file of men and bring the girl be 
fore the Commissioner. This was done without delay, 
and the captive placed for the night under the care of 
Mr. Bartlett, who assigned her a comfortable room, and 
placed a proper guard over her quarters. 

In the meantime the Apaches had slipped away, but a 
guard was put over the Mexican traders for the night. 






54 LIFE AMONG THE APACHES. 

Next day they were summoned before the Commissioner 
to account for their possession of the girl, and their in 
tentions as to her future disposal. Next morning the 
traders respectively gave their names as Peter Blacklaws 
a very appropriate nomenclature Pedro Archeveque, 
which, being translated, means Peter Archbishop a very 
inappropriate name and Faustin Yaldes. The testimony 
extracted from these men was extremely conflicting, but 
the tenor of it went to show that they were engaged, with 
some fifty others, in unlawful barter and trade with the 
Indians, selling them powder and arms, probably, in ex 
change for female Mexican captives of attractive persons, 
horses, skins, etc. Mr. Bartlett felt fully authorized to 
deprive them of the captive, but having no authority to 
punish the scoundrels, they were released; they were im 
mediately af terwards waited upon by several gentlemen 
of the Commission, who gave them to understand that 
any delay in getting out of that place would be attended 
with imminent danger. In less than twenty minutes they 
had left the Copper Mines, poorer but wiser men. 

The young captive gave her name as Inez Gonzales, 
the eldest child of Jesus Gonzales, of Santa Cruz, on the 
frontier of Sonora. About nine months previous, she 
had left Santa Cruz with her uncle, aunt, a female friend 
and her friend's brother, for the purpose of being pres 
ent at the grande fiesta de Nuestra Senora de la Magda- 
lena, or, the grand feast of our Lady of Magdalena. 
They were protected by a military escort of ten soldiers 
and an ensign. The second day of their journey they 
were ambushed by a large party of El Pinal Apaches, 
who killed her uncle and eight soldiers, including their 
officer, and carried off her and her two female friends, 
with the boy. For seven months she had been in their 
power, and made to perform all the hard labor of an 



LIFE AMONG THE APACHES. 55 

Apache squaw, receiving kicks and blows as her reward. 
One old woman of the tribe, who had a tongue which 
made even the warriors quail, however, took a passing 
fancy for Inez, and from that time protected her from 
insult or harm so long as she remained among them. 
Her companions in captivity were subsequently pur 
chased by a band of New Mexican traders, who took 
them olT in a northerly direction. She never saw or 
heard of them afterwards. A second party had seen and 
purchased her, with the view of taking her to Santa Fe, 
for speculative and villainous purposes, when she was 
rescued by the Commission, every member of which vied 
with each other to extend their protection and care over 
this poor and suffering girl. Although she remained 
among us until her restoration to her parents and home, 
the sequel of her adventures will be given now. 

On the morning of the 27th of August, exactly two 
months from the date of her rescue, the Commission left 
the Copper Mines, to prosecute its duties in the field, 
and as it had become necessary to visit Sonora again, 
Mr. Bartlett determined upon giving himself the gratifi 
cation of restoring the fair Inez to the arms of her mourn 
ing mother. After many days' wandering, during which 
our small party was frequently reduced to only five or 
six,- by reason of sending off occasional detachments, 
and after having lost our way and been forced to the 
necessity of living upon purslain and water for several 
successive days, we finally arrived near the town of Santa 
Cruz, on the 22d of September, nearly a month subse 
quent to leaving the Copper Mines. On the morning of 
the 23d, just one year to a day from the date of her cap 
ture, two men were dispatched to inform the family of 
Inez of her safety, and to add that she would be with 
her relations in four or five hours. About three miles 



56 LIFE AMONG THE APACHES. 

from town we met a large and joyous party of Mexicans, 
arrayed in their gaudiest holiday costumes, and headed 
by the mother of our fair charge. They had come out to 
welcome her return and release from captivity among the 
Apaches, a thing never before known to have occurred. 
Mr. Bartlett conceded to me the privilege of placing Inez 
into the longing arms of her mother, who, after repeated 
embraces, and amidst alternate tears, prayers, thanks 
givings and joyous cries, yielded her place to the strong 
but inferior claims of other relatives and friends, all of 
whom ardently and most affectionately embraced her by 
turns. It was one of the most affecting scenes conceiva 
ble, and, in joyous procession, the whole party entered 
the town, amidst the loudest acclamations of the entire 
population. Inez immediately entered the church, where 
the good priest was in attendance, and went through a 
solemn ceremony and thanksgiving. These scenes and 
all their attendant circumstances have ever been among 
the most pleasant in my remembrance. They form a 
delicious oasis amidst the unpleasant recollections of 
" man's inhumanity to man/' Her own father had been 
deceased for some years, and the mother of Inez was 
then married to a man named Ortis, a very excellent, 
honest and reliable Mexican, who testified quite as much 
joy at her release from a captivity far worse than death, 
as if she had been his own child. 

The future career of this young and attractive girl, 
whose fate was so suddenly and providentially changed, 
is worthy of record. 

Some months after the Commission left, on its way to 
ward California, Inez attracted and secured the admira 
tion of a Captain Gomez in the Mexican Regular Army, 
and, at that time, in command of the frontier town of 
Tubac. The relaxed state of morals among the Mexi- 



LIFE AMONG THE APACHES. 57 

cans seemed to warrant the poor girl in becoming his 
mistress for a time, but he subsequently made amends 
by marrying her and legitimatizing the two fine boys she 
bore him. Many years passed before I again saw or 
heard of Inez, and it was not until the fall of 1862, that 
I learned, while in Tucson, that she was still alive, but 
quite unwell. Capt., Gomez had been dead some years, 
and she was again married to the Alcalde of Santa Cruz, 
and had borne him two children a boy and a girl. Hav 
ing casually learned that I was in Tucson, and an officer 
in the Union Army, she dispatched me a letter, begging 
that I would order some one of our physicians to visit 
and prescribe for her. Of course, the poor girl, in her 
ignorance, had asked what it was impossible to grant, 
and I sadly dismissed the subject from my mind. 

In 1864, it was again my lot to be within fifty miles of 
Santa Cruz, when a bold Opatah Indian chief, named 
Tanori, who had been commissioned as Colonel by Max 
imilian, had the temerity to cross our frontier with 
nearly seven hundred men and fire upon the people of 
the American town of San Gabriel, located two miles 
north of the dividing line, and fourteen miles from Santa 
Cruz. The excuse for this outrage was, that he had pur 
sued the Liberal General, Jesus Garcia Morales, across 
our lines, and that he had not transcended his duty in so 
doing. Complaint of this raid having been made to me 
by the town authorities of San Gabriel, I immediately 
took the saddle, with one hundred and forty troopers, 
and marched straight to that place. Upon my arrival, I 
obtained affidavits of all the facts, and, having received 
permission from the acknowledged authorities of Sonora, 
determined to pursue Tanori and punish that gentleman 
for his audacious conduct. 

He had retired upon Santa Cruz, whither I followed 



58 LIFE AMONG THE APACHES. 

without delay; but, hearing of our approach, he has 
tened forward to Imurez with wonderful celerity, and, 
although the Adjutant, Lieut. Coddington, was dis 
patched, at speed, to request a delay on his part so that 
we could arrange matters, he excused himself by saying 
that ' ' his orders were imperative to reach Ures without 
delay/' As a proof with what rapidity the Mexican in 
fantry can cover the ground when an enemy is in pur 
suit, it is a fact that Tanori, with over six hundred men, 
mostly infantry, made the march from Santa Cruz to 
Imurez, a distance of forty-three miles, in the space of 
nine hours. He left Santa Cruz at five o'clock in the 
morning, and I subsequently learned that he conversed 
with the party from whom I Deceived my information, in 
the town of Imurez, at two o'clock in the afternoon of 
the same day. About three hundred of his men were 
there with him at the time mentioned. 

My trip to Santa Cruz offered me the opportunity to 
visit Inez, whom I found to be the respected wife of the 
chief and most influential man in that little community. 
She has an affectionate husband, who is by no means 
cramped for this world's goods; is surrounded by a fine 
and promising family of three boys and a girl, and is uni 
versally esteemed for her many excellent qualities. It 
is needless to state that my reception was most cordial 
and enthusiastic. This sequel of her history will un 
doubtedly be received with sincere pleasure by all who 
were members of Mr. Bartlett's Commission, and by none 
with more interest than Mr. Bartlett and Dr. "Webb. 



CHAP TEE VI. 

Rescue of Two Mexican Boys. War Talk. Exciting Scene. Peaceful Termina 
tion. Large Indian Forces. An Apache lulled by a Mexican. Intense 
Excitement. Fearless Conductor Col. Craig. The Apaches Pacified. 
Another War Talk. Amicable Kesult. Necessity of Firmness and Pre 
caution. 

IT lias already been stated that my tent was pitched 
several hundred yards from the rest of the Commission, 
and hidden from the view of my companions by an in 
tervening hillock. This fact rendered me far more cau 
tious than I otherwise would have been. Several days 
subsequent to the rescue of Inez, the afternoon being 
exceedingly hot and sultry, I was lying on my cot read 
ing a work borrowed from Dr. "Webb, while Joso was 
busy in front of the tent, washing some clothes in the 
pool. A very large number of Apaches were in our camp 
that clay, but had not disturbed me, as was their usual 
custom. Suddenly, two boys, evidently Mexicans, darted 
into my tent, got under my cot, and concealed them 
selves between the side of the tent and the drooping 
blankets. This visitation, in such an abrupt and irregu 
lar manner, excited my surprise, and I asked who they 
were and what they wanted. ee Somos Mejicanos, cabal- 
lero, y estamos cautivos con los Apaches, y nos hemos escon- 
dido aqui para escaparles. Por Dios no nos rinde otra 
vez entre ellos," which means in English "We are Mex 
icans, sir, and we are captives among the Apaches, and 
we have hidden here to escape them. For God's sake, 
do not deliver us again among them." 



60 LIFE AMONG THE APACHES. 

I called to Jos3, and asked: "Are there any Indians 
close by." 

"No, sir," he replied, "but they are coming this 
way." 

I instantly jumped from the cot, thrust two six-shoot 
ers in my belt, took two more in my hands, one in each, 
ordered Josd to sling the carbine over his shoulder and 
carry the double-barreled gun in his hands, and telling 
,the boys to keep close to my side one on the right and 
the other on the left I sallied from the tent with the de 
termination to take these captives to the Commissioner, 
for his disposal. 

We had not proceeded twenty yards before a band of 
some thirty or forty surrounded us, and with menacing 
words ,and gestures, demanded the instant release of 
their captives; but, having made up my mind, I was de 
termined to carry out my intention at all risks. I told 
Joso to place his back to mine, cock his gun and shoot 
the first Indian he saw bend his bow or give sign of ac 
tive hostility; while, with a cocked pistol in each hand, 
we went circling round, so as to face all parts of the ring 
in succession, at the same time warning the savages to 
keep their distance. In this manner we accomplished 
about two hundred yards, when my situation was per 
ceived by several gentlemen of the Commission, and, 
drawing their pistols, they advanced to my aid. The 
Indians relinguished their attempts and accompanied us 
peaceably to the Commissioner, to whom I surrendered 
the boys and detailed the aifair. The boys were respect 
ively named Savero Aredia and Josd Trinfan, the former 
aged thirteen, and a native of Bacuachi, in Sonora, and 
the latter aged about eleven, and a native of Fronteras, 
in the same State. The next day at night, Mr. Bartlett 
sent them to the camp of Gen. Garcia Conde, the Mexi- 



LIFE AMONG THE APACHES. 61 

can Commissioner. They were accompanied by a strong 
guard, which delivered them safely to the General, who 
subsequently restored them to their respective families, 
much to their wonder and gratification. 

Four or five days afterward, Mangas Colorado, Ponce, 
Delgadito, Cuchillo Negro, Coletto Amarillo, and some 
two hundred warriors, together with the fellow who 
claimed the boys, entered the Copper Mines, to have a 
" big talk." Mr. Bartlett was not at all displeased to see 
them, and determined to settle the matter at once. The 
mass of Indians formed themselves in a semicircle, two 
and three deep, facing the door of the room in which the 
talk was had, while the principal men and about a dozen 
of the Commission, well armed, occupied a large room 
in our adobe building. Pipes and tobacco were handed 
round and a "cloud blown" before the real business of 
the seance commenced. About a hundred and fifty of 
the Commission were near at hand with their arms ready. 
After a long and profound silence, the conversation was 
commenced by Mangas Colorado, on the part of the 
Apaches, and by myself, on the part of the Americans, 
every expression of the savages being taken down in 
writing, and then translated to Mr. Bartlett, who dic 
tated a reply, if anything important occurred to him, or 
allowed the interpreter to respond, as the circumstances 
would permit. As the succeeding recital of the interview 
was originally written out in full by myself, and handed 
to Mr. Bartlett as the official record, and subsequently 
published by him without alteration, I deem myself jus 
tified in making use of it for this work. 

Mangas Colorado spoke and said: "Why did you take 
our captives from us ?" 

Reply. "Your captives came to us and demanded our 
protection." 
4 



62 LIFE AMONG THE APACHES. 

Mangos Colorado. "You came to our country. You 
were well received. Your lives, your property, your an 
imals were safe. You passed by ones, by twos, by threes 
through our country. You went and came in peace. 
Your strayed animals were always brought home to you 
again. Our wives, our women and children came here 
and visited your houses. We were friends we were 
brothers! Believing this, we came among you and 
brought our captives, relying on it that we were brothers 
and that you would feel as we feel. We concealed noth 
ing. We came not secretly nor in the night. We came 
in open day, and before your faces, and showed our cap 
tives to you. We believed your assurances of friendship, 
and we trusted them. Why did you take our captives 
from us ?" 

Reply. "What we have said to you is true. We do 
not tell lies. The greatness and dignity of our nation 
forbid our doing so mean a thing. What our brother 
has said is true and good also. We will now tell him 
why we took his captives away. Four years ago, we, too, 
were at war with Mexico. We know that the Apaches 
make a distinction between Chihuahua and So-nora. 
They are now at peace with Chihuahua, but at war with 
Sonora. We, in our war, did not make that distinction. 
The Mexicans, whether living in one or the other State, 
are all one nation, and we fought them as a nation. 
When the war was over, in which we conquered, we made 
peace with them. They are now our friends, and by the 
terms of the peace we are bound to protect them. We 
told you this when we first came here, and requested you 
to cease from hostility against Mexico. Time passed', 
and we grew very friendly; everything went well. You 
came in here with your captives. Who were those cap 
tives? Mexicans; the very people we told you we were 



LIFE AMONG THE APACHES. 63 

bound to protect. We took them from you and sent 
them to Gen. Garcia Conde, who will set them at liberty 
in their own country. We mean to show you that we 
cannot lie. We promised protection to the Mexicans, 
and we gave it to them. We promise friendship and 
protection to you, and we will give them to you. If we 
had not done so to Mexico, you would not believe us 
with regard to yourselves. We cannot lie." 

During the above conversation, which was carried on 
in a slow and dignified manner, Ponce was becoming 
very much excited, altogether too much so for an Indian, 
and being unable to restrain himself any longer, he 
arose, and, with many gesticulations, said: 

Ponce. "Yes, but you took our captives without be 
forehand cautioning us. We were ignorant of this prom 
ise to restore captives. They were made prisoners in 
lawful warfare. They belong to us. They are our prop 
erty. Our people have also been made captives by Mex 
icans. If we had known of this thing, we would not have 
come here. We would not have placed that confidence 
in you." 

Reply. "Our brother speaks in anger, and without 
reflection. Boys and women lose their temper, but men 
reflect and argue; and he who has reason and justice on 
his side, wins. No doubt, you have suffered much by 
the Mexicans. This is a question in which it is impossi 
ble for us to tell who is wrong, or who is right. You 
and the Mexicans accuse each other of being the aggres 
sors. Our duty is to fulfill our promise to both. This 
opportunity enables us to show to Mexico that we mean 
what we say, and when the time comes, we will be ready 
and prompt to prove the good faith of our promises to 
you." 

Ponce. "I am neither a boy nor a squaw. lama 



64 LIFE AMONG THE APACHES. 

man and a brave. I speak with reflection. I know what 
I say. I speak of the wrongs we have suffered and those 
you now do us." Then, placing his hand on my shoulder, 
he said in a very excited manner "You must not speak 
any more. Let some one else speak." 

As this was rather more than I had bargained for, I 
Immediately placed both hands on his shoulders, and, 
crushing him down on the floor, I said : 

' ' I want you to understand that / am the veiy one to 
speak the only one who can speak to you. Now, stay 
there. Do you sit down. You are a squaw and no 
brave. I will select a man to speak for the Apaches. 
Delgadito (beckoning to that warrior) do you come here 
and speak for your nation." 

It is impossible to describe the smothered rage of 
Ponce, but he saw there was no chance, and never again 
uttered a word during the session. 

Delgadito then arose and said : ' ' Let my brother de 
clare the mind of his people." 

Reply. "We wish to explain to our Apache brethren 
why we have done this thing, and what we can do for 
the late owner of those captives. We know that you 
have not acted secretly or in the dark. You came in 
open day, and brought your captives among us. We 
took them in open day, in obedience to orders from our 
great chief at Washington. The great chief of our na 
tion said : ' You must take all the Mexican captives you 
meet among the Apaches and set them at liberty.' We 
cannot disobey this order, and for this reason we have 
taken away your captives." 

Delgadito. "We cannot doubt the words of our brave 
white brethren. The Americans are braves. We know 
it, and we believe a brave scorns to lie. But the owner 
of these captives is poor. He cannot lose his prisoners, 



LIFE AMOXG THE APACHES. 65 

who were obtained at the risk of his life, and purchased 
by the blood of his relatives. He justly demands his 
captives. We are his friends, and wish to see this de 
mand complied with. It is just, and as justice we de 
mand it." 

Reply. "We will tell our Apache brethren what can 
be done. The captives cannot be restored. The Com 
missioner cannot buy them. No American can buy them ; 
but there is a Mexican in our employ who is anxious to 
buy and restore them to their homes. We have no ob 
jection that he should do so; and if he is not rich enough" 
some of us will lend him the means." 

Delgadito. "The owner does not wish to sell; he 
wants his captives." 

Eeply. " Our brother has already been told that this 
cannot be. We do not speak with two tongues. Make 
up your minds." 

A short consultation was then held among the leading 
Apaches, after which Delgadito said: " The owner wants 
twenty horses for them." 

Reply. "The Apache laughs at his white brother. He 
thinks him a squaw, and that he can play with him as 
with an arrow. Let the Apache say again." 

Delgadito. "The brave who owns these captives does, 
not want to sell. He has had one of these boys six years. 
He grew up under him. His heart-strings are bound 
around him. He is as a son to his old age. He speaks 
our language, and he cannot sell him. Money cannot 
buy affection. His heart cannot be sold. He taught 
him to string the bow and wield the lance. He loves the 
boy and cannot sell him." 

Reply. "We are sorry that this thing should be. We 
feel for our Apache brother, and would like to lighten 
his heart. But it is not our fault. Our brother has fixed 



66 LIFE AMONG THE APACHES. 

his affection on the child of his enemy. It is very noble. 
But our duty is stern. "We cannot avoid it. It wounds 
our hearts to hurt our friends; but if they were our own 
children, and the duty of the law said: ' Part with them; 
part with them/ we would. Let our Apache brother re 
flect, and name his price." 

Delgadito. tt 'Wh&i will you give?" 

To which Mr. Bartlett replied: " Come and I will show 
you." 

The whole conclave then broke up and adjourned to 
the^ Commissary's stores, where goods, such as calicoes, 
blankets and sheetings, to the value of two hundred and 
fifty dollars were laid out for their acceptance. This was 
more than Apache cupidity could stand; the bargain was 
soon closed, and the affair passed away in peace. But it 
was never forgotten, and I felt positive that the time 
would come when they would endeavor to wreak their ill- 
concealed vengeance. My expectations were justified by 
the result, for they ultimately stole nearly two hundred 
head of animals from the Commission. 

At this period the band of Mangas Colorado, number 
ing some three hundred warriors, remained encamped 
about four miles distant, while that of Delgadito, num 
bering nearly as many, occupied the valley of the Mim- 
bres river, eighteen miles off. At the same time four 
hundred Navajoes occupied the banks of the Gila, distant 
twenty-eight miles. We were thus placed between three 
large Indian forces, but took no notice of the fact, con 
tinuing our hunting excursions in twos and threes with 
as much apparent indifference as ever, and adopting the 
precaution of taking our six-shooters and plenty of am 
munition, as well as our rifles. 

On the 6th of July, a Mexican, named Jesus Lopez, in 
the employ of the Commission, had a dispute with an 



LIFE AMONG THE APACHES. 67 

Apache, which terminated by the Mexican shooting his 
savage friend. Large numbers of Apaches, including 
Mangas Colorado and several prominent men, were in 
our camp at the time, but in a moment they mounted 
their active ponies and were fleeing in all directions. Col. 
Craig called upon me to follow him, and we rushed out 
and up the hills after the Apaches, telling them not to 
go, that we were friends, that the murderer was already 
a prisoner, and that full justice would be done them. 
Affcer many persuasions, we induced them to calm their 
fears and come back. The prisoner was shown them 
with chains on his feet in care of the guard; while the 
wounded man was taken to the hospital and accorded 
every assistance. He lingered for a month and then 
died, surrounded by his friends, who had been witnesses 
to the care bestowed upon him. This affair brought on 
another talk, which took place a few days after his burial, 
which was performed by his own people in secret, having 
declined the offer of a coffin and sepulture at our hands. 

A large body of Apaches had congregated to hear the 
talk, and they were evidently determined to have the 
best of it on this occasion. They had made up their 
minds to have the blood of the slayer, and had they suc 
ceeded would have attributed their triumph to fear on 
our part. Mr. Bartlett was quite as determined that 
American law only should have weight, and I was pre 
pared for a lively scene. On that day the Commissary's 
and Sutler's stores were closed, and every man of us 
stood ready for active duty at a moment's warning. The 
smoking process over, the Apaches were addressed as fol 
lows, the same rules being observed as on the former 
occasion. 

Commissioner. "I feel sad, as well as all the Ameri 
cans here, and sympathize with our Apache brothers for 



68 LIFE AMOXG THE APACHES. 

the death of one of their braves. "We are all friends. 
The dead man was our friend, and we regret his loss. I 
know that he committed no offence; that he even did not 
provoke the attack upon him. But our Apache brethren 
must remember that it was not by the hand of an Amer 
ican he died. It was by that of a Mexican, though em 
ployed by the Commissioner. For this reason it is my 
duty to see justice done you, and the murderer pun 
ished. I am here in command of the party engaged in 
tracing the dividing line between the United States the 
country of the Americans and Mexico. I have fully 
explained this to you before, and you now understand 
it. Beyond this I have no powers. The great chief of 
the Americans lives far, very far, toward the rising sun. 
From him I received my orders, and those orders I must 
obey. I cannot interfere in punishing any man, whether 
an Indian, a Mexican, or an American. There is another 
great chief who lives at Santa Fe. He is the Governor 
of all New Mexico. This great chief administers the 
laws of the Americans. He alone can inflict punishment 
when a man has been found guilty. To this great chief 
I will send the murderer of our Apache brother. He 
will try him, and if found guilty, will have him punished 
according to American laws. This is all I can do. Such 
is the disposition I will make of this man. It is all I 
have a right to do." 

To my surprise, Ponce arose to reply; he said: "This 
is all very good. The Apaches know that the Americans 
are their friends. The Apaches believe what the Ameri 
cans say is true. They know that the Americans do not 
speak with two tongues. They know that you have never 
told them a lie. They know that you will do what you 
say. But the Apaches will not be satisfied to hear that 
the murderer has been punished in Santa Fe. They 



LIFE AMONG THE APACHES. 69 

want him punished here, at the Copper Mines, where the 
band of the dead brave may see him put to death where 
all the Apaches may see him put to death. (Here Ponce 
made the sign of suspending by the neck.) Then the 
Apaches will see and know that their American brothers 
do justice to them." 

Commissioner. "I will propose another plan to the 
Apaches. It is to keep the murderer in chains, as you 
now see him; to make him work, and give all he earns to 
the wife and family of your dead brave. This I will see 
paid in blankets, in cotton cloth, in corn, in money, or 
anything else the family may like. I will give them all 
that is now due to the man, and at the end of every 
month I will give the.m twenty dollars in goods or in 
money. When the cold season comes, these women and 
children will come in and receive their blankets and 
cloth to keep them warm, and corn to satisfy their hun 
ger." 

Ponce. "You speak well. Your promises are good. 
But money will not satisfy an Apache for the blood of a 
brave ! Thousands will not drown the grief of this poor 
woman for the loss of her son. Would money satisfy an 
American for the murder of his people ? Would money 
pay you, Senor Commissioner, for the loss of your child? 
No; money will not bury your grief. It will not bury 
ours. The mother of the dead brave demands the life 
of his murderer. Nothing else will satisfy her. She 
wants no money. She wants no goods. She wants no 
corn. Would money satisfy me (striking his breast) for 
the death of my son ? No ! I would demand the blood of 
the murderer. Then I would be satisfied. Then I would 
be willing to die myself. I would not wish to live and 
feel the grief which the loss of my son would cause me." 

Reply. "Your words are good. You speak with the 
4* 



70 LIFE AMONG THE APACHES. 

heart of feeling. I feel as you do. All the Americans 
feel as you do. Our hearts are sad at your loss. We 
mourn with this poor woman. We will do all we can to 
assist her and her family. I know that neither money nor 
goods will pay for her loss. I do not want the Apaches, 
my brothers, so to consider it. What I propose is for 
the good of this family. My wish is, to make them com 
fortable. I desire to give them the aid of which they are 
deprived by the loss of their protector. If the prisoner's 
life is taken, your desire for revenge is satisfied. Law and 
justice are satisfied; but this poor woman gets nothing. 
She and her family remain poor. They have no one to 
labor for them. Will it not be better to provide for 
their wants?" 

A short interchange of opinions occurred at this period 
of the proceedings, and the mother of the murdered man 
was called on for her decision. Acting under the influ 
ence of the leading warriors, whose object is stated at 
the opening of this chapter, she vehemently demanded 
the blood of her son's slayer, and stated her determina 
tion to be satisfied with nothing else. In accordance 
with this decision Ponce resumed and said : 

1 'If an Apache should take the life of an American, 
would you not make war on us and take many Apache 
lives ? " 

Eeply. "No; I would demand the arrest of the mur 
derer, and would be satisfied to have him punished as 
the Apaches punish those who commit murder. Did not 
a band of Apaches attack a small party of Americans, 
very recently, on the Janos road? Did they not kill one 
of them and wound three others with their arrows ? And 
did they not take from them all their property ? You all 
know this to be true, and I know it to be true. I passed 
near the spot where it took place, three days afterward. 



LIFE AMONG THE APACHES. 71 

The Apaches did not even bury their victim. They left 
him lying by the wayside, food for the crows and the 
wolves. Why do not these Americans revenge them 
selves on you for this act? They are strong enough. 
They have many warriors, and in a few days can bring 
a thousand more here. But there would be no justice 
in that. The Americans believe this murder was com 
mitted by your bad men by cowards. The Apaches 
have bad men among them; but you who are now among 
us are our friends, and we will not demand redress of 
you. Yet, as I told you before, you must endeavor to 
find the men who killed our brother, and punish them. 
Our animals feed in your valleys. Some of your bad 
men might steal them, as they have already done; but 
the Americans would not make war on you for this. We 
hold you responsible, and shall call on you to find them 
and bring them back, as you have done. While the 
Apaches continue to do this, the Americans will be their 
friends and their brothers. But if the Apaches take our 
property and do not restore it, they can no longer be the 
friends of the Americans. War will then follow; thou 
sands of soldiers will take possession of your lands, your 
grazing valleys, and your watering places. They will 
destroy every Apache warrior they find, and take your 
women and children captives." 

This rather menacing speech, with the firmness and 
determination evinced, brought our copper colored and 
belligerent visitors to a proper sense of the case, and 
after considerable "pow-wow" among themselves, the 
mother of the deceased agreed to leave the punishment 
of the murderer to the determination of our own laws, 
and to receive as equivalent for his loss all the money 
due the prisoner, and twenty dollars a month, the amount 
of his wages, while we remained at the Copper Mines. 



72 LIFE AMONG THE APACHES. 

During the foregoing talk I learned the important fact, 
that coolness and quiet determination will almost always 
overawe and subdue an Indian, provided the right is on 
your side. But however much he may yield, one may 
make sure that he will seize the first favorable opportunity 
to "get even." Should such an opportunity never occur, 
it becomes his cherished object to wreak his vengeance 
on the next comer, entirely regardless of his antecedents. 
For this reason the utmost caution is always necessary; 
because, although one may feel wholly guiltless of act or 
intention against the savages, he is held strictly respon 
sible by them for the acts and intentions of his prede 
cessors. 



CHAPTER VII. 



Jornada del Mucrto. Socorro. Lieut. Campbell. Terrific Ride for Life. 
Splendid Horse. Narrow Escape. Caring for a Horse. Apache Visits. 
Treacherous Nature. 



SOME time after the events above recorded, it became 
necessary for me to visit the town of Socorro, in New 
Mexico, for the purpose of assisting in the purchase of 
sheep. It was niy most excellent fortune to possess a 
horse whose equal I have never seen. "With high cour 
age and almost fabulous powers of endurance; strong, 
swift and handsome, I had made him a special pet, and 
nobly did he answer my appeal when occasion demanded. 

At that time Fort Craig had no existence, and the 
space between Dona Ana and Socorro a distance of one 
hundred and twenty-five miles is a large desert, well 
supplied with fine grama grass in some portions, but ab 
solutely destitute of water or shade for ninety-six miles. 
This intervening strip of territory is known by the unat 
tractive appellation of the Jornada del Muerto, or the 
Dead Man's Journey. Why it ever received this title I 
never distinctly learned, but suppose it was on account 
of the very numerous massacres committed on it by the 
Apache Indians. On the east the road is fringed for 
about sixty miles by the Sierra Blanca, a noted strong 
hold of that people; and from its heights they are ena 
bled distinctly to perceive any party of travelers coming- 
over the wide and unsheltered expanse of the Jornada del 
Mnerto. As the plain affords no opportunity for ambush, 



74 LIFE AMONG THE APACHES. 

they come sweeping upon the unsuspecting immigrant in 
more than usual numbers, and if successful in their at 
tack, invariabty destroy all of -the party; for there is no 
possible chance of escape, and the Apaches never take 
any prisoners but women and young children, and they 
become captives for life. 

At Socorro was a small American garrison, consisting 
of about half a company of the Second Dragoons, com 
manded by Lieut. Reuben Campbell, an officer whose 
acquaintance I had made during the Mexican war, and 
for whom I entertained a sincere regard. 

I left Dona Ana about three o'clock A. M., and traveled 
leisurely until four in the afternoon, when I unsaddled 
my horse, staked him to a strong picket pin planted in a 
field of fine grass, and laid down under the lee side of a 
cactus to catch a modicum of shade. At twelve, mid 
night, I resumed my journey, and reached Socorro next 
day about eleven o'clock A. M., having traveled during 
the cool of the night at a much more rapid pace. Dur 
ing the trip I neither saw an Indian nor an Indian sign; 
and here let me add that the Apaches of the Jornada, or 
more properly the Mescalero Apaches, were at the time 
in a state of active hostility. 

Most pleasantly did I pass two days with Lieut. Camp 
bell, rehearsing scenes and incidents of the Mexican war, 
and each metaphorically "shouldering his crutch to show 
how fields were won." Having refreshed myself and 
rested my noble horse, I took leave of Campbell on the 
morning of the third day, at three o'clock, when we took 
the doch and dorrish with mutual wishes for each other's 
welfare. 

My trip up had been unaccompanied by any event of 
interest, and I sincerely hoped that my journey down 
would be equally tame and spiritless; but this was not to 



LIFE AMONG THE APACHES. 75 

be. I saved my noble beast all I could, frequently dis 
mounting and leading him by the bridle, so as to retain 
his strength and speed in case of necessity. In this way 
we jogged on until about three o'clock in the afternoon, 
by which time we had accomplished about fifty miles, 
leaving some seventy-five yet to go. The sun was in 
tensely oppressive, and glared like a shield of red-hot 
brass. A friendly bush, surrounded with fine grass, and 
standing about one hundred yards to the left of the hard 
and splendid natural road which runs through four-fifths 
of the Jornada, invited me to partake of its modest shade, 
and I turned my horse in that direction, but was sur 
prised at noticing a column of dust to my left, in the di 
rection of the Sierra Blanca, which had the appearance 
of being in violent motion, and coming my way. In 
stinctively I felt that it was caused by Apaches; and I 
took the precaution to tighten my horse's girths, see that 
the saddle was properly placed and re-cap my four six- 
shooters, two of which were in my belt, and two in my 
holsters. I also untied a Mexican serape, or blanket, 
which was lashed to the after part of my saddle, and 
doubling it, I passed it over my shoulders and tied it 
under my chin by a stout buckskin thong. By this time 
the character of the coming party was unmistakable, and 
they were evidently bent on cutting me off from the road. 
My gallant horse seemed to appreciate the condition of 
affairs almost as well as I, and bounded on like a bird. 
The pursuing party failed in their first attempt and en 
tered the road about three hundred } r ards in my rear. 
Perceiving that my horse was infinitely superior in speed 
and power, I drew rein to save him all that I could, and 
allowed the Indians to come within fifty yards. There 
were some forty of them, and none with fire-arms, but 
mainly supplied with lances, only five or six of the num- 



76 LIFE AMONG THE APACHES. 

ber carrying bows and arrows. These last named pro 
jectiles commenced to whistle near me; but I paid no 
heed, keeping steadily on my course, until one pene 
trated my blanket; but the effect was completely de 
stroyed by the fluttering of its heavy double folds, which 
were kept in a rattling motion by the speed at which we 
were going. Perceiving that the force of the arrow had 
been neutralized, I drew a heavy holster pistol, and 
wheeling half round in my saddle, pointed it at the sav 
ages. This caused them to fall back in some alarm, and 
I took advantage of that fact to redouble my speed for a 
mile or so, gaining some six hundred yards on my pur 
suers, when I again drew rein to save my horse. 

It required a long time for them to again recover shoot 
ing distance, but their yells and cries were perpetual. 
In this manner, alternately checking and speeding my 
horse, and ^presenting my pistol at the savages, we 
scoured over many miles of that infernal Jornada. Sev 
eral arrows were sticking in my blanket; one had grazed 
rny right arm, just bringing blood, and the other had 
touched my left thigh. I then became convinced that 
my horse was the main object of their pursuit. His 
value and unequaled qualities were well known to the 
Apaches, and they resolved to have him, if possible. Of 
course, my life would have been sacrificed, if they could 
only manage that little affair. I had bought the horse 
of Capt. A. Buford, First United States Dragoons, who 
assured me that his equal did not exist in the Territory. 
He had been offered a hundred mustangs for the horse 
by a Mescalero Apache, but refused, on the ground that 
he could take care of one animal with ease; but if he 
possessed a hundred, the Apaches would be likely to 
steal them at any moment while grazing. 

Near the foot of the Jornada, the road takes a bold 



LIFE AMONG THE APACHES. 77 

sweeping curve to the left, toward Dofia Ana, being in 
terrupted by a low but rugged series of small hills and 
deep ravines. About eight o'clock P. M. , the moon being 
bright and not a cloud visible, I dashed round the first 
hill, and was surprised to note that the Apaches had ap 
parently given up the chase, for I neither heard nor saw 
any more of them, although I was about four hundred 
yards ahead. Suddenly it flashed upon my mind that 
they might have some short cut-off, and had pursued it 
with the intention of heading me. For the first time I 
struck my rowels into the reeking flanks of my poor 
steed, and most gallantly did he respond to this last call. 
He fairly flew over the road. Hill after hill was passed 
with wonderful rapidity until nearly a quarter of an hour 
had elapsed, when I again heard my Apache friends, 
about eighty yards in my rear. No sooner did they per 
ceive that their design had been penetrated and frus 
trated, than they recommenced their yells with additional 
vigor. But their horses were blown, as well as mine. 
They had come at their best pace the whole way, while 
mine had been saved from time to time. If I had come 
fifty miles at a slow gait in the early day, they had come 
fifteen at dead speed before they reached to where our 
race began. 

In this manner we continued our career until I arrived 
within five miles of Dofia Ana, about eleven o'clock p. M. , 
when, feeling myself comparatively safe, I commenced 
emptying the cylinders of my heavy holster pistols among 
them. Their cries and yells were fearful at this time, 
but I did not cease firing until they had fallen back out of 
reach. The remainder of my journey was made without 
company, and I reached Dona Ana about twelve o'clock 
midnight, having made the distance of one hundred and 
twenty-five miles, on one horse, in the space of twenty- 



78 LIFE AMONG THE APACHES. 

one hours,, the last seventy miles being performed at a 
run. 

So soon as I arrived, I threw off my serape, which had 
quite a number of arrows sticking* in it, called my boy, 

, Jos 5, and rubbed my horse down dry with good, soft 
straw. This operation required about two hours. I then 
washed him all over with strong whisky and water, and 
again rubbed him dry. This was followed by taking off 
his shoes, and giving him about two quarts of whisky and 
water as a draught. His whole body and limbs were 
then swathed in blankets, a mess of cut hay, sprinkled 
with water and mixed with a couple of pounds of raw 
steak, cut into small pieces, was given him to eat, and a 
deep bed of clean dry straw prepared for .him to sink 
into. These duties kept me up until five o'clock A. M., 

- w r hen I refreshed my inner man with a wholesome whisky 
toddy, prepared by Buford, and sought repose, from 
which I did not awaken for all that day and the succeed 
ing night. On the second day after the above adventure, 
I visited my horse and found him in as fine condition as 
any one could reasonably expect. He was neither foun 
dered nor injured in any ostensible manner. On many 
a subsequent occasion he served me with equal zeal and 
capability, but never more under such exciting circum 
stances. Several efforts were afterwards made by the 
Apaches to get possession of that noble beast, but, I am 
proud and happy to add, invariably without success. At 
the Copper Mines he was saved to me by mere .accident. 
On a certain occasion, remembering that he had lost a 
shoe, I sent Jos 3 to bring him from the herd then graz~ 
ing about a mile distant, under the care of a guard. The 
order was immediately obeyed, and in half an hour after 
ward the whole herd was carried off by the Apaches. 
It may be entered up as an invariable rule, that the 



LIFE AMOXG THE APACHES. 79 

visits of Apaclies to American camps are always for sin 
ister purposes. They have nothing to trade for: conse 
quently, it is not barter that brings them. They beg, 
but in no wise comparably with other Indian tribes; and 
scarcely expect to receive when they ask. Their keen 
eyes omit nothing. One's arms and equipments, the 
number of your party, their cohesion and precaution, 
their course of march, their system of defence in case of 
attack, and the amount of plunder to be obtained with 
the least possible risk, are all noted and judged. Wher 
ever their observations can be made from neighboring 
heights with a chance of successful ambush, the Apache 
never show T s himself, nor gives any sign of his presence. 
Like the ground shark, one never knows he is there un 
til one feels his bite. In nature and disposition, in hab~ 
its, laws, manners and customs, in religion and ceremo 
nies, in tribal and family organization, in language and 
signs, in war and in peace, he is totally different from all 
other Indians of the North American continent; and 
these facts will be set forth in future chapters, for the 
consideration of those who may peruse this work. 



CHAPTER VIII. 

Gold Mines. Apache Raid. Our Mules Stolen. Unsuccessful Scout. Another 
Apache Raid. Fight with Delgadito's Band. Recovery of Stolen Cattle. 
Delgadito Wounded. His Death. Traits of Apache Character. Their 
Spartan Views. Apache Idea of American Wisdom. Adventure of Mr. 
Diaz with Cuchillo Negro. Abandon the Copper Mines. Sonora. Santa 
Cruz. Bacuachi. Arispe. Ures. Hermosillo. Guaymas. Return. 
Santa Rita. The Pimos and Maricopas. Their Tradition. Their Personal 
Appearance. Strange Relations Between the Two Tribes. Lucubrations 
on Indian Character. Our Indian Policy Criticised. 

THE main object of the author is to relate such inci 
dents as will give his readers an insight into Indian char 
acter; but in each case the relation will be of facts occur 
ring within his own personal experience. It is too much 
the habit to give details received from hearsay evidence, 
from which the writer draws his conclusions and offers 
them to his readers as the results of personal investiga 
tion and knowledge. This fault, for I so consider it, 
will be avoided in the present work, and nothing de 
scribed which was not actually witnessed or experienced 
by the author, who leaves his readers to form their own 
conclusions. 

After the shooting of the Apache at the Copper Mines 
by Jesus Lopez, matters resumed a pacific appearance 
for some weeks; but the calm was only on the surface. 
The Apache mind had been deeply exercised by the re 
covery of Inez and the two boys, and by our invasion 
and long retention of their favorite haunt. Gold mines 
had been struck a few miles from the post, and this fact 
threatened the existence of a permanent colony of Anier- 



LIFE AMONG THE APACHES. 81 

leans, which also served to aggravate the natural hatred 
and malevolence of the savages. This last mentioned 
fear proved well grounded, for at this day there ,are over 
three hundred Americans and others working those mines, 
and a considerable village has sprung up in their imme 
diate vicinity. 

Mangas Colorado, Ponce, Delgadito, Cuchillo Negro, 
Coletto Amarillo, and other prominent Apaches, have, 
since then, all been sent to their long account hy the ri 
fles of Californiaii soldiers and American citizens, but not 
without the loss of many innDcent lives on our part, or 
the perpetration of atrocities on the part of the Apaches 
which make the blood curdle at the bare recital. These 
developments will form portions of succeeding chapters. 

Toward the latter end of July, a number of mules for 
which Col. Craig was responsible, could not be found, 
although all the surrounding country, to the extent of 
thirty miles, was strictly searched. That gallant officer 
and accomplished gentleman invited me to his quarters, 
and asked my opinion on the subject. Without hesita 
tion, I informed him that I thought the Apaches had 
stolen them, either for the hope of reward for bringing 
them back (as the Commissioner had invariably bestowed 
gifts on those of the tribe who brought in strayed ani 
mals, or those supposed to have strayed) or that they 
had made the initiative of a war campaign. After two 
or three hours of conversation, the Colonel fell into my 
idea, and determined to go and search for them himself. 
Taking thirty soldiers, he visited the Apache camp of 
Delgadito, on the Mimbres river. The Indians were 
much excited, and disclaimed any participation in the 
robbery, or any knowledge of the missing animals; but 
promised to hunt them up and restore them to that 
officer, if found. Eight days afterward they kept their 



82 LIFE AMONG THE APACHES. 

promise, in a truly Apache manner, by making another 
descent upon the Colonel's herd of mules, and relieving 
him of the necessity to guard twenty-five more of those 
animals, and some fine horses. Having nothing but 
infantry, Col. Craig felt himself unable to maintain an ac 
tive campaign against these bold and well-mounted sav 
ages, and consequently invoked the aid of Capt. Buford's 
company of dragoons, from Doiia Ana. Soon after the 
arrival of that officer, another batch of animals disap 
peared in the same mysterious manner, and a joint jscout, 
composed of the dragoons and mounted infantry, started 
off to recover the lost animals, or punish the robbers, if 
possible. This raid proved wholly ineffective, neither 
animals being recovered, nor Indians punished; but dur 
ing the absence of the force, intelligence was brought 
that the Apaches had attacked the mining camp, about 
three or four miles down the canon, and were driving off 
the cattle. About twenty of the Commission, headed by 
Lieut. A. W. Whipple, mounted their horses and gave 
immediate pursuit. The Indians were overhauled in a 
thick forest, and one party, numbering about fifty war 
riors, stood to give us battle, while a detachment hurried 
on with the cattle. The Indians concealed themselves 
behind large pine trees, and retreated as fast as possible, 
but still showing front. Our party dismounted, and, 
being joined by Mr. Hay, the head miner, with four of 
his associates, we left our horses in care of eight men, 
and took to the trees, keeping up a lively fire from be 
hind their friendly shelter. 

Here, for the first time, all doubt as to the identity of 
the robbers was set at rest, for they were headed by Del- 
gadito, who kept at a safe distance and poured out tor 
rents of the vilest abuse upon the Americans. This same 
scoundrel had slSpt in my tent only two nights before, 



LIFE AMONG THE APACHES. 83 

when I gave him a good shirt and a serviceable pair of 
shoes. 

The Government had furnished the Commission with 
several styles of newly-patented arms, and among these 
were some Wesson's rifles, which could throw their balls 
with fair accuracy a distance of four hundred yards at 
that period a very remarkable distance. One of these 
rifles I had ordered to be fitted with new and fine sights, 
and at three hundred and fifty yards a good marksman 
could hit the size of his hat eight times out of ten. 

Among our party was Wells, the Commissioner's car 
riage driver an excellent, brave and cool man, and a 
crack shot. I pointed Delgadito out to W'ells, and hand 
ing him my rifle, told him to approach as nearly as pos 
sible, take good aim and bring the rascal down. Wells 
glided from tree to tree with the utmost caution and 
rapidity, until he got within two hundred and sixty or 
seventy yards of Delgadito, who, at that moment, was 
slapping his buttocks and defying us with the most op 
probrious language. While in the act of exhibiting his 
posteriors a favorite taunt among the Apaches he un 
covered them to Wells, who took deliberate aim and 
fired. This mark of attention was received by Delgadito 
with an unearthly yell and a series of dances and capers 
that would put a maitre de ballet to the blush. The 
Apache leader was recalled to full consciousness of his 
exposed position by the whizzing of three or four balls 
in close proximity to his upper end, when he ceased his 
saltatory exercises and rushed frantically through a thick 
copse, followed by his band. We started back for our 
horses and having- remounted, again pressed forward in 
pursuit. In fifteen minutes we had passed the woods 
and opened upon the plain, over which the Apaches were 
scouring for life. The pursuit lasted for thirty miles, 



84 LIFE AMONG THE APACHES. 

and just at sundown we came once more upon the cattle, 
when the party in charge abandoned them and sought 
safety in flight with their beaten companions. Perceiv 
ing that further pursuit would be useless, we contented 
ourselves by bringing back Mr. Hay's herd. I afterward 
learned that the ball from Wells' rifle gouged a neat 
streak across that portion of Delgadito's person denom 
inated in school parlance as the "'seat of honor." His 
riding and general activity were spoiled for several weeks. 

This celebrated Apache was subsequently killed by a 
Mexican, whom he was endeavoring to dupe and destroy. 
They were fording the Mimbres river on foot, and upon 
reaching the eastern bank, Delgadito caught hold of the 
projecting branch of a tree to assist himself, when the 
Mexican took advantage of his momentary neglect, and 
plunged his knife through the Indian's heart- from be 
hind. It is an actual fact that the dead savage was 
found, the next day, still clinging to the branch. This 
event took place two years after we had left the country. 
I never met with Delgadito after the affair in the woods; 
but had resolved to pistol him the very first time we got 
close enough to make my shot sure. 

In every case the Copper Mine Apaches had been 
treated with the greatest kindness and hospitality by the 
whole Commission. They had received very many and 
valuable presents. For months they had the unrestricted 
freedom of our camp. All causes of dispute had been 
settled to their own satisfaction; nothing had occurred 
for weeks to disturb the existing harmony. Only two 
days before the affair above described, Delgadito and over 
a hundred warriors had been in the Copper Mines, and 
emphatically disavowed any participation in or knowl 
edge of the wholesale robberies which had been commit 
ted on our people. Mr. Bartlett and Dr. Webb had 



LIFE AMONG THE APACHES. 85 

persisted in their theory, that "kind treatment, a rigid 
adherance to what is right, and a prompt and invariable 
fulfillment of all promises, would secure the friendship of 
the Apaches;" but, although this kind of treatment had 
been exactly carried out by Mr. Bartlett and his Com 
mission, the Apaches took occasion to manifest their ap 
preciation and friendship by robbing over three hundred 
head of our finest mules and horses, which had been 
resting and growing fat and strong for future use. They 
never served us again. There are cases where an indi 
vidual Apache will conceive a personal regard for a par 
ticular man, and will do him almost any act of kindness 
in his power, but this is far, very far, from being a gen 
eral rule. From earliest infancy they are instructed to 
regard every other race as natural enemies. Their sus 
picions and savage distrust are aroused and cultivated 
before they ever come in contact with other people. An 
Apache child of three years will run and yell with fear 
and hate from a white man. Apache mothers hush their 
children by naming an American. To rob or kill a Mex 
ican, is considered a most honorable achievement; but to 
commit successful outrage upon an American, entitles 
the perpetrator to the highest consideration. Dexterity 
in stealing is a virtue of no mean character. The most 
adroit thief is precisely the man who is best capable of 
maintaining his wives in plenty and bedecking them ia 
meretricious finery, of which they are inordinately fond. 
The Apache woman who is saddled with the least work 
and the most ornaments, is the envied of her sex. For 
this reason, the young girls prefer to become the fifth, 
sixth, or seventh wife of a noted robber, rather than the 
single spouse of a less adroit thief. In the first case her 
labors are divided by her associate wives, and are, there 
fore, measurably lessened, while her chances for obtain- 
5 



86 LIFE AMONO THE APACHES. 

ing gew-gaws are quite as good or better. They un 
questionably prefer polygamy, as it exists. 

A really brave man does not rank as high as a really 
clever, thievish poltroon. His gallantry is admired, and 
in times of danger all flock around him for protection; 
but at other periods the young squaws give him the cold 
shoulder, and he is regarded as little better than a fool 
who will run into danger, but does not know how to steal, 
or enrich himself at the expense of others. " He is a 
very brave warrior/' say they, " a man who will fight and 
shed his blood in our defense; but he is little better than 
an ass, because he is always poor and don't know how to 
steal and not be caught." I am not too sure that some 
thing of this characteristic does not obtain among people 
who profess to rank much higher than the Apaches in 
the scale of mankind. It might be as well, perhaps, to 
pull the mote out of our own eyes before we attempt to 
extract the beam from those of our savage brethren. 
Nevertheless, the Apache character is not lovely. In 
point of natural shrewdness, quick perception and keen 
animal instinct they are unequaled by any other people. 
They know what is just and proper, because in all their 
talks they urge justice and propriety, and profess to be 
guided by those virtues; but all their acts belie their 
words. Deceit is regarded among them with the same 
admiration we bestow upon one of the fine arts. To lull 
the suspicions of an enemy and to them all other people 
are enemies and then take advantage of his credence, 
is regarded as a splendid stroke of policy. To rob and 
not be robbed; to kill and not be killed; to take captive 
and not be captured, form the sum of an Apache's educa 
tion and ambition, and he who can perform these acts 
with the greatest success is the greatest man in the tribe. 
To be a prominent Apache is to be a prominent scoundrel. 






LIFE AMONG THE APACHES. 87 

But the reader will have plenty of opportunities to judge 
for himself, as the succeeding pages will unfold incidents 
enough from which to form a criterion. They are far 
from cowardly, but they are exceedingly prudent. Twenty 
Apaches will not attack four well armed and determined 
men, if they keep constantly on their guard and pre 
pared for action. In no case will they incur the risk of 
losing life, unless the plunder.be most enticing and their 
numbers overpowering, and even then they will track a 
small party for days, waiting an opportunity to establish 
a secure ambush or effect a surprise. A celebrated war 
rior once told me: " You Americans are fools, for when 
ever you hear a gun fire you run straight to the spot; 
but we Apaches get away, and by and by steal round 
and discover the cause." 

I have before stated that individual Apaches will some 
times conceive a regard for particular persons not of their 
tribe, and an incident illustrative of this fact occurred to 
Lieut. Diaz of the Mexican Commission. Mr. Diaz had 
been ordered to occupy a station on the top of a certain 
prominent height, and took with him a party of ten men. 
His camp was only about four miles from the camp of 
Gen. Garcia Conde; but getting out of provisions he 
left the mountain, accompanied by one man, for the pur 
pose of ordering another supply. His course led him 
over a perfectly smooth plain for the distance of two 
| miles. Not a tree, nor a bush, nor a rock was visible, 
but the grass was thick and about a foot high. Mr. Diaz 
and his man walked side by side, each with a six-shooter 
in his hand, for the Apaches were then hostile. About 
| the middle of the plain Mr. Diaz felt his right wrist 
seized and his left arm pinioned, while his pistol was 
taken from his grasp, and he found himself in the power 
of Cuchillo Negro and a dozen other savages. His at- 



88 LIFE AMONG THE APACHES. 

tendant was .also seized and a prisoner. Cuchillo Negro 
looked at him for a moment, with a most gratified ex 
pression on his savage face, and then said: 

" My friend, you see that you cannot escape us. But 
I like you and will do you no harm. You must cease 
from staying on that hill. I want it; it belongs to me. 
You have intruded into my country; but you yourself I 
like. I will keep these pistols; but send for the rest of 
your men on the hill and take them away. For your sake 
we will not kill them this time." 

Poor Lieut. Diaz had not a word to reply except to 
promise that the Indian's request would be granted in re 
turn for his generosity. It seems that Cuchillo Negro 
had observed the movement of Mr. Diaz, and with his 
band had buried himself under the grass, waiting the 
auspicious moment when Mr. Diaz should pass him on 
the road, when suddenly and noiselessly rising the sav 
ages grasped the unsuspecting Mexicans. I will here 
add, that Mr. Diaz was the officer charged to blow up 
the fortress of Chapultepec, should it fall into the hands 
of the Americans; but when the time came his heart failed 
him* and he was captured pistol in hand, as if about to 
fire the magazine. 

A few weeks after the incidents above described, the 
Commission abandoned the Copper Mines, in order to 
prosecute their labors to completion, and this abandon 
ment was always regarded by the Apaches as the legiti 
mate result of their active hostility. This fact came to 
my knowledge twelve years subsequent to the period of 
our removal, at which time it was again my province to 
renew my acquaintance with Mangas Colorado, then the 
only one living of the chiefs we had met at the Copper 
Mines. Coletto Amarillo, Ponce and his son, were killed 
in action by California!! soldiers, and it was the fate of 
Mangas to die on the point of an American bayonet. 






LIFE AMONG THE APACHES. 89 

After a long travel through Sonora, visiting Santa 
Cruz, Bacuachi, Babispe, Tumacarcori, Imurez, Arispe, 
Ures, Hermosillo, Guaymas, and several other towns, 
Mr. Bartlett took passage by sea from Guaymas, leaving 
Dr. Webb, Mr. Thurber, Mr. Pratt and his son, myself 
and five others, making a party of ten, to reach Califor 
nia overland, and join him at San Diego. This was a 
very small party to travel through the Apache strong 
holds, especially at a time when those savages were at 
open war with us; but we were all splendidly armed, ex 
cept Dr. Webb, who could never be persuaded to carry 
anything but a small five-inch five-shooter and a knife 
and we were also tolerably experienced in the Apache 
style of warfare, and the nature of the country tu be 
traversed. The magnificent Santa Eita, ten thousand 
feet high, with its majestic head wreathed in snow, Tu- 
bac, San Xavier del Bac and Tucson were successively 
reached and passed. The great desert of ninety miles 

without water I speak of eighteen years ago, in 1850 

between Tucson and the Gila river, was crossed safely, 
but not without much suffering; and we finally reached 
the Pimo villages, where we met Lieut. Whipple and 
party. 

The Pimos have ever been most friendly to Americans, 
and I have yet to learn of a single instance in which they 
ever harmed a white man. These Indians are not nomads- 
Their villages have remained in the same localities for 
hundreds of years. As their country affords no game, 
and they are by no means a warlike tribe, they maintain 
themselves in comfort and abundance by tilling the 
ground, and limit their warlike propensities to punishing 
the raids made upon them by other tribes. These ^imos 
profess to have originally come from the far south. Ac 
cording to their tradition, their forefathers were driven 



90 LIFE AMONG THE APACHES. - 

from tlieir native land many centuries ago, and sought 
an asylum by coming northward. They profess to have 
crossed through Sonora, and- finally settled on the Gila, 
about twenty miles east of the eastern limit of the Great 
Gila Bend, where that river makes a detour to the north 
of nearly ninety miles, and, after sweeping round the 
base of a range of mountains, resumes its original course 
westward. Here they were visited by the Jesuit mis 
sionaries, who taught them how to till the ground, and 
supplied them with many valuable seeds, and also in 
structed them in the art of preparing and weaving cot 
ton. A Pimo cotton blanket will last for years, and is 
really a very handsome and creditable affair. The men 
never cut their hair, but wear it in massive plaits and 
folds, which frequently descend to the calves of their 
legs. The front hair is cut even with the eyebrows. The 
women wear short hair, and are not permitted to have it 
more than eight or nine inches in length. They are a 
robust and well-formed race, and not at all revengeful, 
but exceedingly superstitious far more so than any 
other tribe I ever met. They are hospitable, chatty, and 
exceedingly proud of the purity of their blood. 

Living in the closest amity with them are the Maricopa 
Indians, who, like the Pimos, claim to be direct descend 
ants from Moctezuma, but differ from them essentially in 
their language, laws, habits, manners and religious cer 
emonies. The Maricopa tradition, as given me by Juan 
Jose, a chief of some importance in former times, and 
subsequently confirmed by Juan Chivari, the present 
head chief of the tribe, is to the following effect. 

About a hundred years ago the Yumas, Cocopahs and 
Mariqppas composed one tribe, known as the Coco-Marl 
icopa tribe. They occupied the country about the head 
of the Gulf of California, and for some distance up the 



LIFE AMONG THE APACHES. 91 

Colorado river. At that time a dispute occurred, and 
what is now known as the Cocopah tribe split off, and 
the secessionists were permitted to go in peace. This 
pacific policy soon afterward induced the party, now 
known as Maricopas, to secede also; but this defection 
incurred the severe displeasure and hostility of the re 
mainder, who now .form the Yuma tribe. Many san 
guinary conflicts ensued, when the Yumas succeeded in 
obtaining the aid of the Cocopahs, and, together, they 
gradually forced the Maricopas up the Colorado, until 
the Gila was reached. Knowing that the country to the 
north was occupied by the Amojaves, a large and warlike 
tribe, the retreating Maricopas turned their steps east 
ward, and folloAved the windings of the Gila river, pur 
sued by their relentless enemies, until they reached the 
Great Gila Bend. Their spies were sent across this des 
ert and returned with the intelligence that they had met 
a tribe living in well constructed and comfortable houses, 
cultivating the land, well clothed, numerous, and appa 
rently happy. A council was called and it was agreed to 
send an embassy to the Pimos, to negotiate a defensive 
and offensive alliance, and with the request that the 
Pimos would parcel out to them a suitable amount of 
land for their occupation. After much delay, and with 
true Indian circumspection, it was agreed that the Mari 
copas should inhabit certain lands of the Pimos; but it 
was made a sine qua non that the new-comers must for 
ever renounce their warlike and hunting propensities, 
and dedicate themselves to tillage for, said the Pimos, 
we have no hunting grounds; we do not wish to incur 
the vengeance of the Tontos, the Chimehuevis, the 
Apaches, and others, by making useless raids against 
them; they have nothing to lose, and' we have, and you 
must confine yourselves solely to revenging any warlike 



92 LIFE AMONG THE APACHES. 

incursions made either upon us or upon yourselves. 
You are free to worship after your own manner, and 
govern yourselves according to your own laws; but you 
must be ready at all times to furnish a proportionate 
number of warriors to protect the general weal, and, in 
the event of taking any booty, there shall be a fair divi 
sion made by a council of sagamores, composed of equal 
numbers from each tribe, and their decision must be 
final. 

These equitable and generous terms were accepted by 
the Maricopas, who immediately occupied a portion of 
Pimo territory, and imitated them in the construction of 
their dwellings and the cultivation of the land, being 
supplied with seed by the Pimos. In this manner the 
two tribes have continued together for one hundred 
years; yet, as an instance of the pertinacity with which 
an Indian will cling to his own particular tribe and cus 
toms, although many of them have intermarried, and 
their villages are never more than two miles apart, 
and in some cases not more than four hundred yards, to 
this day they cannot converse with each other unless 
through an interpreter. Their laws, religion, manners, 
ceremonies and language, remain quite as distinct as on 
the day they sought the Pimo alliance. Here we find 
no difference of color or diversity of pursuit. There is 
no clashing element, no cause for discordant controversy, 
or contention. They are and have been the warmest of 
friends for the period stated, have frequently intermar 
ried, are bound together by one common sympathy and 
one common cause, have the same enemies to contend 
against and the same evils to deplore the same blessings 
to enjoy; yet they are no closer together now than they 
were one hundred years ago. Ought not these indisputa 
ble facts to furnish us a lesson in Indian character? 



LIFE AMONG THE APACHES. 93 

Must we forever blind our eyes to such teachings of expe 
rience and fact, and indulge in the pleasing hypothesis 
that we can effect radical changes in their political and 
social economy ? Enthusiasts will point to a few individ 
ual exceptions, who have, as it were, got rid of their In 
dian nature and elevated themselves to a higher sphere 
in the mental, social and political scales; but these ex 
ceptions are very few, and only serve to establish the 
rule that the leopard cannot change his spots, nor an 
Ethiopian his skin. The Cherokees, Choctaws and 
Chickasaws, are pointed out as triumphal examples of 
what the white man's instructions and precepts will do 
for the Indian races. But in what essential particulars 
have they demonstrated this wonderful improvement ? It 
is true that many of them know how to read, write and 
compute; that they assume, to some extent, the vestments 
of the whites; that they have learned how to construct a 
beiter class of houses, and have improved their physical 
condition in other respects; but is this true of the major- 
itv? Have they not adopted, to the fullest extent, all 
the vices of the whites, while acquiring some of their 
minor virtues ? If left to themselves, would they con 
tinue to advance and progress in wisdom and virtue, or 
would they retrograde into barbarism? Are not such 
changes and improvements as have taken place among 
them more attributable to the large admixture of white 
blood visible in these tribes, than to any other cause ? 
How many of pure Indian blood are now to be found 
among them ? Are not those people rapidly dwindling 
away, and will they not soon be among the things that 
were ? Have their numbers increased, or have they be 
come strong ? Do they love us with any deeper affection, 
or do they show gratitude for their civilization ? 

But, says the Christian philanthropist, it is our duty to 
5* 



94 LIFE AMONG THE APACHES. 

continue even unto the end; to faint not by the way, nor 
become lukewarm. These people are God's children, as 
well as yourself. They are possessed of immortal souls, 
and if your lot has been cast, through the mercy of Prov 
idence, in a more elevated and useful condition of life, 
you should not contemn those who have been denied 
these benefits. The Almighty has created them for the 
express purpose of exercising your philanthropy, your 
brotherly love, and all your better and. nobler qualities. 
Take the red man by the hand as you have done to his 
negro brother, and guide him gently, kindly toward a 
better state in this world and the hope of salvation here 
after. 

I admit that these are very persuasive and forcible 
arguments; but, reverend sir, the red man absolutely re 
fuses to come. He disdains to take my hand; he flouts 
my offered sympathy, and feels indignant at my pre 
sumption in proffering him my aid to improve his condi 
tion. He conceives himself not only my equal, but de 
cidedly my superior. He desires only to be let alone. 
His forefathers lived well enough without our officious 
services, and he intends to do likewise. He is the man 
of the woods, the plains, the mountains, and looks upon 
us as the men of the towns and the cities. For no pos 
sible consideration would he change places or accept our 
domiciliary style of life, and without such domestication 
all our efforts are vain and idle. With calm and unruf 
fled dignity he listens to all you say, and with uncon 
cealed dislike he makes it a point to remember nothing 
he has heard, or, if remembering, to treasure it up as 
something to be avoided. Your counsels are considered 
as baits and traps, and your desire to domiciliate him as 
an effort to bring him under your control. You are and 
must ever remain, to him, an object of suspicion and 



LIFE AMONG THE APACHES. 95 

distrust. You are understood to be his natural enemy, 
and all his faculties are awakened against your advances. 
Treasuring up his own vengeful purposes for months and 
years, he imputes to you the same, or kindred intention 
of doing him ultimate harm. No effort, no kindness on 
your part, can induce him to disabuse his mind of this 
idea, because he is not capable of such magnanimity, and 
regards it as the finest stroke of duplicity. Trained to 
treachery, he is ever on his guard against it in others. 
Even members of his own tribe are not trusted implicitly. 
When you talk to him of a Creator, he replies that he 
admits that fact; and when you endeavor to explain the 
attributes of the Most High, he tells you of the necessity 
to propitiate the devil. Any attempt to make him com 
prehend the Trinity is laughed to scorn, and he hesitates 
not to tell you that you lie, simply because it is beyond 
his comprehension. He admires and envies our power 
to read, write and calculate, and would fain be master of 
those accomplishments; but ask him to send his children 
to school, in order that they might learn to do likewise, 
and straightway he regards you as one wishing to con 
trol and bewitch the beloved offspring. He is willing to 
obtain information by oral means, but scouts the idea of 
learning it by studious process, which he regards as a 
species of slavery, and detests the control exercised by 
the teacher over his free born, wild, and unfettered 
children. While he frankly admits that you are better 
clothed, better fed, and better conditioned in all respects 
than he is, he as frankly and persistently refuses all 
overtures and invitations to adopt your style of life. He 
is as dogmatically convinced of his superiority as you are 
of yours, and no effort of rhetoric or argument can bring 
him to a different opinion. Show him the wonders of 
magnetism, or a microscope, or explain to him the mech 
anism of a watch, or direct his admiring gaze through 



96 LIFE AMONG THE APACHES. 

a telescope, and lie will express unfeigned delight, but 
will, at the same time, regard you with additional dis 
trust and suspicion. In fine, all your efforts are treated 
as the advances of an invidious enemy, and no expendi 
ture of time or industry has ever been successful in this 
field of operation. How can we cultivate and improve 
human beings who resolutely refuse cultivation and im 
provement, and brand all our efforts as so many snares 
laid for their subjection ? But it is useless to prolong a 
discussion of this subject; experientia docet, and experi 
ence has shown the futility of all attempts to cultivate, 
civilize and christianize the North American savage. 

The deplorable condition of the Californian Indians, 
after years upon years of Jesuit teachings, and the foun 
dation of numerous missions, surrounded with large and 
pacific Indian populations, only offers another proof that 
the savage tribes of this continent are not susceptible of 
permanent and radical improvement. Instead of being 
bettered, civilized and christianized, they have contracted 
all the worst features of the white race and retained all 
the more despicable characteristics of their own, while 
the native dignity, courage and primitive virtues of the 
Indian have been completely annihilated. In all the 
world there is no more despicable people than the indig 
enous tribes of California, which have been, for years, 
under the sway and tuition of the Jesuit fathers, who 
piously thought they were doing God good service. In 
all the attributes of manhood, in everything which digni 
fies uncivilized human nature, the untamed tribes are 
infinitely their superiors. Superstition, cowardice, filth, 
sloth, drunkenness, moral depravity, and the most re 
volting licentiousness have replaced the sterner and more 
simple qualities of the wild Indian tribes. In the desire 
to do them good, we have done them the most harm. 
In the hope of excising their savage defects, we have in- 



LIFE AMONG THE APACHES. 97 

oculated them with, the most terrific vices. This is a sad 
picture, but it cannot be denied. 

What was the result of bringing leading chiefs, like 
Black Hawk, Keokuk, Irritaba and Juan. Chivari from 
their native wilds to behold and take lessons from the 
wealth, power, numbers and general superiority of our 
people ? In each case those once renowned warriors lost 
their whole influence. They w r ere regarded with suspicion 
and dislike by their own tribes. They were suspected of 
being bewitched. Their tales of the wondrous things 
they saw and heard were treated with scorn and unbelief, 
and, in some instances, such as in that of Irritaba and 
Juan Chivari, they barely escaped death at the hands of 
their former followers. 

The North American savage gazes with ill-suppressed 
admiration upon our palatial buildings, our thronged 
streets, our splendid stores, our vast and complicated 
mechanical engineering, our big guns and great ships; 
but his teaching ends there. While wondering at these 
things, he pants for his own unbounded plains and dense 
forests. He is not animated to attempt any change in 
his own method of life. He has no idea of toiling 
throughout existence that his children's children, to the 
tenth or twentieth generation, may possess capabilities 
and advantages like those enjoyed by the white man. 
His ambition is not at all excited, and he philosophically 
concludes that each race has its appointed duties, and is 
engaged in its fulfillment. Indians who have been re 
moved from their native scenes at an early age, and re 
ceived the best education attainable in our seminaries of 
learning, have almost invariably returned to their wastes, 
and proved the most formidable enemies of those who 
congratulated themselves on having rescued them as 
" brands from the burning." 



CHAPTER IX. 



Pimo Superstition. Eclipse of the Moon. Terrible Excitement. Dangerous 
Predicament. Lieut. Whipple's Coolness. Satisfactory Result. Pimos 
and Maricopas. Their Traditions. Religions and Modes of Interment. 
Dr. David Wooster. Arrival of Gen. Oonde. Death of Antonio. Horrible 
and Revolting Ceremonies. The Grila Bend. Down the Gila. The Mari- 
copa Refugees. Important News. The Colorado River. John Gallantin 
and his Party. 



AMONG- the most superstitious of all our Indian races, 
the Pimos take precedence. They entertain an unfalter 
ing belief in witchcraft, sorcery, ghosts, the direct influ 
ence of the evil one, and the absolute necessity of pro 
pitiating the "gentleman in black." It is not, by any 
means, difficult to disturb their serenity and set them al 
most wild, by the exercise of the most simple processes 
known to us. I have often fancied to myself their un 
bounded wonderment and fear at a skillful exhibition of 
the magic lantern, or the more scientific feats of chemis 
try such as converting fluids into solids, and vice versa 
but so far none of these effects have been shown them. 

After joining the party under Lieut. Whipple, that 
superior officer and thorough gentleman, invited me to 
accompany him one beautiful night to assist in observing 
an eclipse of the moon, w T hich was to take place about 
ten o'clock. The opportunity to make observations was 
too valuable to be lost, and as Mr. Wheaton was ill, the 
invitation to fill his place was kindly tendered to the 
writer. The large telescope and other important instru 
ments were carried by two men of Whipple's party, and 



LIFE AMONG THE APACHES. 99 

we proceeded until the highest hillock in the neighbor 
hood was surmounted. The Piinos and Maricopas soon 
learned that the white men were abroad with sundry 
curious looking weapons, and surrounded us by hundreds; 
but as we knew them to be thoroughly peaceful, and 
even generous, no notice was taken of their presence. 
The telescope was placed in position, and on being asked 
by a Pimo what it was, I carelessly replied that it was a 
terrific cannon, the shot of which would reach to the 
moon. Little did we think how quickly this answer 
would place us in imminent jeopardy. The round, full 
moon was sailing across the heavens in refulgent splen 
dor. Not a cloud could be seen; the air was calm and 
tranquil; the night was pleasantly warm, and everything 
promised a satisfactory observation. By and by, the 
eclipse was about to commence. Mr. "Whipple stationed 
himself at the telescope, and the rest of us stood ready 
to obey his directions. Every one was attentive, and 
wholly bent on making the occasion a success. At 
length the observation commenced. It was watched by 
the Indians, who kept their eyes alternately fixed on the 
moon and on Mr. Whipple; and as 'the disc of that lu 
minary began to grow less and less, and darker and 
darker, the Chief, Culo Azul, said to me: "What are 
you doing?'* 

Not apprehending any difficulty, and relying on their 
well known and often tried amity, I replied: " We are 
shooting and killing the moon." 

This was translated to the surrounding multitude, and 
immediately followed by the most dreadful yells I ever 
heard. A rush was made toward us, and weapons 
brandished with fearful and vengeful violence. Our 
party became alarmed, and prepared to sell our lives as 
dearly as possible; but the thought of our unsuspecting 



100 LIFE AMONG THE APACHES. 

comrades in the camp compelled us to act with, caution. 
The first object of the savages was evidently to destroy 
the weapon which they believed to be killing the moon; 
but its loss would have been irreparable, and their ven 
geance would not have stopped there. 

" What are we to do without the moon?" inquired the 
Chief. " How are we to note time ? How shall we know 
when to plant and when to reap ? How can we pass all 
our nights in darkness, and be incapacitated from pre 
venting Apache raids? What have we done to you, that 
you should do this thing to us ? " 

To these questions, asked with vehemence and rapid 
ity, I replied, " Wait until I consult my superior/' and 
immediately acquainted Mr. Whipple with all the facts. 
That officer had left the telescope in alarm; but imme 
diately replaced himself with the greatest sang-froid, 
and, in an undertone, said: 

' ' Tell them that, if they will keep quiet and promise 
not to make any hostile movement, we will restore the 
moon again, as full and as bright as ever." 

His coolness, courage, and undisturbed self-possession 
excited my highest admiration, and I immediately trans 
lated his words to Culo Azul, who again made them 
known to his people. Under the direction of Mr. Whip- 
pie, I added: 

" We can hit the moon, as you may see for yourselves," 
at this time that luminary was obscured one-half by 
the earth's shadow "and it is also in our power to re 
store it to health and strength; but if you harm us or in 
jure our instruments, then the moon must remain dead, 
and can never be restored. We have only the kindliest 
feelings toward the Pimos and Maricopas, and we only 
wished to destroy the moon in order to prevent its light 
from guiding the Apaches and Yumas to your villages. 



LIFE AMONG THE APACHES. 101 

But as our brethren have signified their dislike to the 
proceeding, we will restore the moon to its original 
splendor. If in a little while it does not reappear, our 
Pimo and Maricopa friends may take their vengeance 
and destroy our instruments. But they must remember 
that we alone are the medicine men; our brethren in the 
camp are as innocent as you, and should not be disturbed 
or held accountable in any event." 

This promise restored some degree of tranquility, and 
they gave us their word not to injure or interfere with 
our unsuspecting comrades. 

It has often occurred to me what a dreadful fate would 
have been ours if a sudden storm had arisen at that pe 
riod, and prevented the moon from being seen again im 
mediately after the eclipse. But the heavens were spe 
cially bright and cloudless, and not the slightest incident 
occurred to dash our courage. In the course of time the 
observation reached its fullest extent, and the anxiety of 
our Indian friends became intense. Yells and meanings 
rent the still night air, maledictions and curses were lav 
ished upon us, weapons were drawn, and every indica 
tion given of speedy dismissal from this vale of tears; 
but the grand old chief, who seemed to have absolute 
control of his people, stood between us and harm, and 
quietly awaited the issue. By and by the moon began 
to exhibit her brilliant shield once more. Its silver disc 
grew larger and larger. Gradually, but surely, it sailed 
from behind the earth's shadow and assumed its pristine 
proportions, until she was again unveiled in full majesty. 
To describe the jo}^, the amazement and the homage of 
the savages is quite impossible. We were lifted up on 
their arms, patted on our backs, embraced, and dignified 
to their utmost extent. All this time Mr. Whipple had 
been quietly taking his observations and writing them in 



102 LIFE AMONG THE APACHES. 

his book. At no period did lie appear ruffled or con 
cerned. His equanimity won respect, and his influence 
with the Pimos became all powerful. In a subsequent 
chapter will be found detailed another and no less curi 
ous incident among those Indians. 

The Pimos and Maricopas both pretend to trace their 
descent from Moctezuma, whoever that renowned gentle 
man may be, but they have entirely different ideas about 
the matter. The Pimos believe Moctezuma to have been 
a god, who resided on earth for a time, and became the 
founder of their race, but was treacherously and basely 
murdered. Before yielding up the ghost, he threatened 
his slayers with future punishment, foretold the scatter 
ing of the various tribes he had created and organized, 
and promised to come again and assume control of their 
affairs when all his children should be reunited under his 
rule. 

The Pimos invariably resort to the ceremony of crema 
tion when any of their tribe dies. The body is placed 
upon a funeral pyre and rapidly consumed. No effort is 
made to collect the ashes of the dead, but all his friends 
and relatives take a portion, and, mixing them with the 
dissolved gum of the mesquit tree (which is a species of 
the acacia, and yields a concrete juice similar to gum 
arabic), they daub their faces with the odious compound, 
and permit it to remain until it is worn away. 

The chastity of their women is proverbial, but this is 
probably more the result of the fear of detection than 
from any natural virtue. Among themselves loose wo 
men are tolerated, but the Pimo girl who may be caught 
in carnal intercourse with any other than a Pimo man, 
runs nine chances out of ten to be stoned to death. If a 
white man be a trader among them, and has been there 
for a long time, and has acquired something of their. 



LIFE AMONG THE APACHES. 103 

language , lie is more or less considered entitled to the 
privileges of the tribe; but, even then, disclosure of con 
cubinage is attended with imminent danger to the guilty 
female. The women of this tribe are particularly fine 
looking, possessing elegant forms, nicely shaped and well 
tapered limbs, brilliant and perfect white teeth, small 
hands, and the easy carriage of the unfettered Indian 
girl who never saw a pair of corsets, nor inclosed her 
form in the net-work of crinoline. The men are rugged 
and tolerably well made, but in nowise remarkable for 
size nor physical strength. Their powers of endurance 
are about on a par with most other Indian races, but bear 
no comparison with those of the Apaches. They are al 
most all bow-legged, with long trunks and arms, deep 
chested, narrow shouldered and big headed. Their noses 
are natter, wider and more fleshy than those of other 
tribes, while their feet, in both sexes, are unusually large 
and splayed. Prior to receiving muskets and ammu 
nition from the American Government a favor granted 
them through the wise intercession of Gen. James H. 
Caiieton their weapons consisted of a bow and arrow, 
and a lance or knife. Their arrows differ from those of 
all the Apache tribes in having only two feathers instead 
of three, and in being much longer, with the single ex 
ception of the Coyoteros, who use very long arrows of 
reed, finished out with some hard wood, and an iron or 
flint head, but invariably with three feathers at the op 
posite end. 

The Maricopas invariably bury their dead, and mock 
the ceremony of cremation. They, like the Pimos, and 
most other Indian tribes, believe in the existence of two 
gods, who divide the universe between them. One of 
the divinities is the author of all good, the other the 
father of all evil. The good god is deemed a quiet and 



104 LIFE AMONG THE APACHES. 

inactive spirit, who takes no decisive part in the affairs 
of mankind, but relies more upon their desire to escape 
the evils brought upon them by the bad spirit than upon 
any direct efforts of his own. He contents himself with 
the knowledge that after mankind has been sufficiently 
tormented by his great adversary, they will seek him as 
a source of refuge. On the other hand, they invest the 
evil spirit with powers of unequaled and inconceivable 
activity. He is everywhere at once, and takes the lead 
in all schemes and pursuits, with the view of converting 
them to his ultimate use. The first duty of the Indian, 
exposed as he is to the influences of these two spirits, is 
to propitiate the most active of the two, and the one which 
will control his every day avocations. His next object is 
to approach the good spirit and ask his pardon for having 
made terms with his one great enemy. This method is 
something in the style of Louis XI's prayers, but is really 
in use among these Indians. Their women are not noted 
for chastity, but are very cautious against detection, which 
is severely punished, although not to the extent that ob 
tains among the Pimos. They are quite as good looking 
as their neighbors, and the men generally are credited 
with a superior reputation as warriors. Their dress, arms, 
accoutrements, and general style of person are so nearly 
similar as not to arrest the attention of travelers; but 
their religion, language, laws and customs are wholly 
different. The Maricopas seem to have more general 
recklessness and cordiality of manner than the Pimos, 
who are constrained and stiff in their intercourse with 
strangers. The Pimo believes in a future state, in which 
material modifications will exist; but the Maricopa thinks 
that the existence of man, after death, closely resembles 
his earthly career that his wants and requirements will 
be very similar to those he experienced in this world. 



LIFE AMONG THE APACHES. 105 

Acting on this belief he will sacrifice at the grave of a 
warrior all the property of which he died possessed, to 
gether with all in possession of his various relatives. The 
decease of a warrior therefore becomes a bona fide cause 
for mourning; for each of his immediate relations is 
stripped of any goods they may own, in order that his 
spirit may assume a proper place and distinction among 
his predecessors in the other world. This solemnity of 
course impoverishes all his relations, and its exaction 
creates sincere grief. How completely is this custom at 
variance with ours. How clearly does it exhibit the differ 
ence between savage and enlightened views on a point of 
no common importance. This custom, so strictly enforced 
among the Maricopas, does not exist among the Pimos; 
but in the case of an intermarriage between the two tribes 
the deceased is invariably sepultured in rigid accordance 
with the views of his or her tribe. Self-interest is, 
after all, as strong a motive among Indians as among 
whites, and for this reason intermarriages between the 
two tribes are so rare, even after one hundred years of 
undivided co-existence on the same lands, and prosecu 
tion of the same general objects. 

A more marked dissimilarity is observable in their su 
perstitions regarding warfare. The American officer can 
take a body of Pimos and follow up the trail of a hostile 
force until he has run his game to earth, when a fight 
takes place, in which he can depend upon the pluck and 
courage of his followers; but should the contest result 
in the death of a single enemy, or in that of a Pimo, he 
must bid adieu to any further effort for the time being, 
for the Pimos will immediately about face and return to 
their villages, to undergo the process of purification from 
blood. No threats, no inducements can make them alter 
or modify this course. It is a part of their religion, and 



106 LIFE AMOXG THE APACHES. 

they will observe its dictates. One, or twenty, or a hun 
dred of the enemy may be killed during the engagement, 
but if blood be spilled the Pimos will return to their 
villages for the purpose above stated. Ifot so with the 
Maricopas, although they are prone to abandon the war 
path after the enemy has been met and overcome; but if 
led by energetic white men they will continue and obey 
them to the end. The reader cannot fail to have re 
marked some singularly diverse traits of character in 
these two tribes; and this difference is the more extra 
ordinary in view of the fact that they have been domiciled 
together for so many years, and been acting under one 
common bond of sympathy and interest. It only affords 
another convincing proof, if any such were required, of 
the unchangeable and unimpressible character of the 
North American savage. 

The country inhabited by the Pimos and Maricopas is 
a dead flat with clayey soil, which is extremely tenacious 
when wet, and sparsely covered with mesquit trees. It 
is a fine wheat land, and the Indians raise very abundant 
crops of wheat, melons, pumpkins and corn; but their 
supplies are almost wholly limited to these articles. As 
before recited, they manufacture a very superior quality 
of cotton blanket, which will turn rain, and is warm, com 
fortable and lasting. Dr. David Wooster of San Fran 
cisco, who resided among them for some time, and com 
piled a vocabulary of their language, is, perhaps, better 
informed with regard to these tribes than any other white 
man. He was indefatigable in his researches, and re 
ceived the confidence and affection of these Indians for 
his many benevolent acts, and his self-sacrificing atten 
tion to their sick, without the hope or prospect of pay or 
reward. The remembrance of his many kind deeds is 
cherished among them, and they charged me, on my last 
visit, to make known that fact to their benefactor. 



LIFE AMONG THE APACfl . 107 

"We left the Piino villages with much misgiving, as we 
had li-arned that the Yumas, ou the Colorado river, had 
declared war with the Americans, and our party at that 
time was only ten strong, seven Americans and three 
Mexicans, among whom was the step-father of Inez, who 
had consented to act as guide and arriero for our party. 
Just as we were about to depart an incident occurred ex 
planatory of Indian character, and for that reason worthy 
of a place in this work. 

Gen. Garcia Conde had been to the Colorado river 
with his command, and returned to the Pinio villages, 
bringing with him a noted Yuina chief, named Antonio. 
This brave had signalized himself in the frequent con 
tests between the Yumas and Maricopas, and had earned 
the undying vengeance of the latter tribe. Gen. Conde, 
however, persuaded him to act as guide for his party, 
promising to protect him from all harm, and to have him 
safely returned to his country and people. On arriving 
at the Maricopa village, which was the first to the west 
ward, it was soon bruited abroad that Antonio was with 
the Mexicans and under their protection. Hundreds of 
Maricopas and Pimos visited Gen. Conde's camp to get 
a sight of their famed enemy, but no overt demonstra 
tions were made, as Gen. Conde warned them that lie 
would protect Antonio at all hazards, and they had no 
disposition to provoke his power to enforce his promise. 
The next morning Antonio was found dead, his body 
pierced in many places. Gen. Conde was much grieved, 
but as the deed had already been consummated, and 
there was no clue whatever of the murderers, he con- 
tt-nted himself with giving decent Christian sepulture to 
the remains, and then immediately prosecuted his jour 
ney. 

Two days afterward we passed down the road, going 



108 LIFE AMONG THE APACHES. 

westward, and it was my lot to be something like a mile 
or two in the rear of my comrades, but being better 
mounted than they, this fact gave me no concern, es 
pecially as I knew that we were among peaceful and in 
offensive tribes. Just south of the last" village inhabited 
by the Maricopas, a low, flat-topped hill is met, with its 
northern base close to the highway along which I had to 
pass. On arriving near this hill, I observed a very large 
crowd of Indians on its summit and sides, who appeared 
to be performing a series of most unusual antics, accom 
panied with occasional discordant and ear-splitting 
yells. At first I feared that my comrades had commit 
ted some act that had aroused their vengeance, but cooler 
consideration convinced me that they were not the men 
to do foolish acts. I rode forward at a round gallop, 
with the intention of passing the hill and its occupants 
as quickly as possible without appearing to be in flight, 
but I was not destined to escape so easily. Four or five 
stalwart warriors placed themselves in the road and beck 
oned me to hold up, and, believing discretion to be the 
better part of valor, on this occasion at least, I obeyed 
their summons. One took my horse, while another as 
sisted me, most courteously, to dismount, and then 
taking my hand, led me up the ascent, accompanied by 
his associates. It beggars all my descriptive powers to 
depict the scene which met my astonished gaze when I 
reached the summit and was introduced inside the inner 
ring. From four to five thousand Indians were present. 
The squaws were formed in three complete circles near 
est the center, leaving a space of two hundred yards 
diameter. Around these were great numbers of warriors, 
of greater or less fame, and boys from ten to fifteen years 
of age. In the center of the open space a human head, 
and the forearms with hands attached, were placed upon 



LIFE AMONG THE APACHES. 109 



r 



the ground the head standing on the stump of the neck, 
which was supported by a stick driven into the ground 
and thrust up through the throat, and the arms and 
hands crossed, one over the other, immediately in front 
of the face. I recognized the head to be that of Antonio, 
the murdered Yuma chief, and concluded that the pres 
ent gathering was held for the purpose of a grand jubilee 
over his death. My conjecture was correct, but before I 
had time to reflect, I was seized by the hands of two 
powerful Indians, who joined others, until a small ring 
of sixty or seventy were got together, and was hurried 
round and round, in a regular dance, about the horrid 
spectacle for the space of several minutes. Showing* 
signs of fatigue from the violent rotary motion, I was 
rescued by a friendly Pimo, who said: "Do you like 
this thing ?" 

"Certainly," I replied, "it is your way of rejoicing 
over the death of your enemies, and as the Pimos and 
Maricopas are our friends, I do not see why I should 
not rejoice with you." 

This response delighted him greatly, and he immedi 
ately translated it to the multitude, who greeted me with 
terrific yells of approbation. Availing myself of the 
good feeling engendered, I desired my robust friend, 
whose every limb quivered with excitement, to state to 
the multitude that my party had gone on a long time 
before; that the country over which I had to pass was 
frequently the scene of Apache horrors; and that I had 
sufficiently expressed my sympathy with the occasion to 
be allowed to depart in peace. This speech was received 
with another chorus of yells, and I was gently conducted 
down the steep, at the base of which I found my horse 
in safe keeping. My conductors were warmly thanked, 
and I set off .at full gallop to join my comrades, delighted 
6 



110 LIFE AMONG THE APACHES. 

at having so easily escaped the well meant but revolting 
hospitality of the savages. 

Twelve miles further on we entered the Gila Bend 
desert. At this point the Gila river trends to the north 
and describes a curve of one hundred and twenty miles 
around the northern base of a long range of mountains, 
resuming its original course westward about fifty miles 
from the point of departure. This space of fifty miles 
is entirely without water, and is the highway for the Coy- 
oteros and some of the Sierra Blanca Apaches making 
raids upon Sonora. The probabilities were very much 
in favor of meeting one or more war parties of those 
tribes, and we kept a strict lookout during the transit, 
but failed to see any, although we may have been ob 
served by them. 

On the afternoon of the third day after leaving the 
Pimos, we came upon the scene of the Oatman massacre, 
and as the coyotes had dug up the remains of the mur 
dered party, they were carefully and safely re-interred 
by us. Here was another caution to beware the treach 
ery and malice of the Apaches. The lesson was well 
heeded by our little band; but we felt ourselves able to 
whip five times our number in fair fight, and the strictest 
vigilance was observed in passing any place which could 
shelter an ambush. Next day we camped on the Gila, 
under a splendid grove of high and clear cotton-wood 
trees. There was no underbrush for hundreds of yards 
in every direction, and our rifles could easily reach the 
surrounding expanse, in case of attack, while the friendly 
trees would afford us good shelter. Every one was busy 
some collecting dry wood for the guard fire, others in 
cooking, others again in securing the animals and pro 
viding their food when I suddenly perceived an Indian 
running toward us with both arms raised above his head. 



LIFE AMONG THE APACHES. Ill 

I was about to draw a bead upon the fellow, but seeing 
that he was alone and unarmed, I refrained, and beck 
oned him to come forward, which he did with decided 
good will. He spoke Spanish well enough for all prac 
tical purposes, and informed us that he was a Maricopa 
and had been captured by the Yumas, together with a 
woman of his tribe, some months before, but had man 
aged to effect his escape a few days before meeting our 
party, and as he and his companion were starving, they 
came to ask our assistance, having struck our trail at the 
entrance to the camp ground. He then uttered a pecu 
liar cry, and was immediately joined by the woman, who 
had concealed herself to await the issue of his visit. The 
poor woman presented a thin, worn and suffering ap 
pearance, which did not require the use of language to 
explain. Our first care was to supply these poor crea 
tures with food and a spare blanket each; for, as we had 
left the higher and colder regions, and were entering 
upon the warmest known on the globe, and as our means 
for transportation were becoming beautifully less, we 
could afford to be generous in this respect, especially as 
the probabilities were greatly in favor of abandoning or 
cacheing the major part of our effects, among which were 
a number of costly instruments, which could neither be 
eaten nor drank. No further questions were^pressed upon 
our guests until their hunger had been appeased, when, 
sitting at the camp fire, the man gave us the following 
narration, corroborated in all points by his companion. 
Some five months previous, a large war party of the 
Yunias had come up the Gila with the intention of cut 
ting off small detachments of Maricopas and Pimos, who 
annually visit the Gila Bend desert to collect the' fruit 
of the petajaya, a gigantic species of cactus. This fruit 
is dried in the sun and closely resembles our figs in point 



112 LIFE AMONG THE APACHES. 

of size, taste and shape, but the external husk or cover 
ing is not edible. They also macerate it in water after 
being dried, when the saccharine qualities causes the 
liquid to ferment, and after such fermentation it becomes 
highly intoxicating. It is upon this liquor that the Mar- 
icopas and Pimos get drunk once a year, the revelry con 
tinuing for a week or two at a time; but it is also a uni 
versal custom with them to take regular turns, so that 
only one-third of the party is supposed to indulge at 
one time, the remainder being required to take care of 
their stimulated comrades, and protect them from injur 
ing each other or being injured by other tribes. The 
Yumas are well acquainted with the custom, and the 
party referred to had gone up the Gila to profit by the 
circumstance. In that raid they succeeded in killing a 
few Maricopas and taking prisoners the man and woman 
who were then our guests and informants. Of course 
any species of labor and hardship that could be imposed 
they were compelled to undergo, until the arrival of a 
band of twenty-one Americans with a great many sheep 
which they were driving to California. The military, 
consisting of a Sergeant and ten men, had been driven 
off by the Yumas just before the advent of these visitors, 
who were wholly ignorant of the fact, and quite unpre 
pared to expect the hostility which terminated with their 
massacre. They were received by the Yumas with every 
profession of friendship, the Indians bringing in large 
quantities of slim, straight and dried cotton-wood 
branches to build fires with, and rendering them other 
kindly services, so that all apprehension was completely 
lulled. "While the evening meal was in preparation, the 
Yumas interspersed themselves thickly among the Amer 
icans, who had some four fires going, built by the 
Yumas, who had placed the long, smooth cotton-wood 



LIFE AMONG THE APACHES. 113 

branches across each other, in every direction, and the 
fire as nearly to the center as possible. So soon as those 
sticks had burned through so as to leave an effective 
club at each end, a single sharp cry gave the signal, 
upon which each Yuma present, probably a hundred, 
seized his burning brand, and commenced the work of 
death, dealing blows to the nearest American, while an 
other large party rushed fully armed upon the scene, 
and quickly dispatched their unprepared and unsuspect 
ing visitors. The Americans fought with desperation, 
discharging their six-shooters and using their knives 
with bloody effect, but were soon overcome by resistless 
numbers, and slain to a man. It was during this con 
test, which engaged the whole attention of the Yumas, 
that our two guests managed to effect their escape. They 
had traveled for four days without food, hiding them 
selves from morning till night, and prosecuting their way 
only after dark. Seeing a small party of Americans, 
whom they knew were always friendly to their tribe, and 
incited by the double motives of obtaining food and 
warning us of our danger, they had sought our camp. 

Our danger was indeed imminent. Our party con 
sisted only of seven Americans and three Mexicans, and 
our ammunition had been reduced to forty rounds for 
each weapon. A party of well armed men, more than 
three times our number, had been massacred only a few 
days before by a hostile tribe of Indians, through the 
heart of whose country we would be compelled to make 
our way, if we continued. The enemy had driven off 
the miserably small garrison, and were flushed with the 
success of their last great robbery and murder. The 
Colorado river was impassable without a launch, and 
that was in possession of the Indians. "We were in a 
"regular fix/' and a council of war was immediately 



114 LIFE AMONG THE APACHES. 

held. I am free to acknowledge that I was afraid to go 
forward, and used every argument to show the foolhard- 
iness of such an attempt, but all my objections were met 
by the imperturbable Dr. Webb, who contented himself 
with saying " Our provisions are nearly exhausted, our 
ammunition is nearly expended, we are ordered to go 
on, and it is our duty. We may be killed, but it is bet 
ter to die fighting, since we have been warned and are 
on our guard, than to die of starvation on these terrible 
deserts. In any case, it is only a choice of deaths, but 
it is certain destruction to turn back, while we may man 
age to escape or pass the Yumas in safety." It was 
finally agreed to adopt his views keep a sharp lookout, 
fight if need be, to the bitter end, and die like men in 
the proper discharge of a recognized duty. This deter 
mination was duly imparted to our Maricopa friends, 
who could not restrain expressions of amazement, and 
gave us some additional valuable information about the 
existence of the launches in which to cross the Colorado, 
the nature and habits of the Yumas, their treacherous 
manner of approach, and the best means for us to adopt. 
Those kindly people were then supplied with provisions 
enough to last them to their villages, and took leave of 
us with unfeigned regret, expecting never to see one of 
our number again. My next meeting with them will be 
found in a succeeding chapter. 

Early next morning we resumed our journey down the 
Gila, and prosecuted it for several days until we reached 
the Colorado near its junction with the Gila. At that 
period the whole country was a wilderness, and the place 
now occupied by large houses and well filled stores, with 
an American population of six or seven hundred souls, 
was waste and desolate. The approach to the river was 
hidden by a dense mass of young willow trees, through 



LIFE AMONG THE APACHES. 115 

which we had to pass in order to reach water, of which 
ourselves and animals were greatly in need. The ther 
mometer stood at 118 degrees Fahrenheit, in the shade, 
and we had marched twenty-four miles that day without 
water. On emerging from the willows to the banks of 
the broad, red, swift and turbid stream which met our 
gaze, we discovered, on the opposite side, within easy 
rifle reach, a large number of Yuma men, women and 
children, a fact which assured us that our approach had 
not been known by that tribe. They instantly fled in all 
directions, thereby proving their fear and suspicions, 
whi*ch would not have been entertained if the two people 
had been at peace with each other. Having watered our 
suffering animals, we prosecuted our way down the Col 
orado, and encamped upon an open sand beach, with 
three hundred yards of clear ground in the rear and the 
river in front. No weapon in possession of the Yumas 
could reach anything like that distance, while our rifles 
commanded the whole area. Our animals were drawn 
up in line on the river side with a careful guard, and 
were fed with an abundance of young willow tops, 
which they eat greedily. Our fires were well supplied 
and kept blazing brightly, so as to shed light on the sur 
rounding shore and disclose the approach of any enemy. 
In this manner we passed an anxious night. 

The next day, soon after dawn, an Indian presented 
himself unarmed, and with reiterated assurances of the 
most cordial friendship for the Americans. He subse 
quently proved to be Caballo en Pelo, or the "Naked 
Horse," the head chief of the Yumas. Our reception 
was not calculated to excite his hopes, every one extend 
ing his left hand, and keeping a revolver in his right, 
and it was not long before Caballo en Pelo found that 
he -had committed himself to the tender mercies of men 



116 LIFE AMONG THE APACHES. 

who entertained the deepest suspicion of his professed 
amity. To test his sincerity, Dr. Webb asked what had 
become of the soldiers, to which he replied that they had 
voluntarily withdrawn three months before. This we 
knew to be a lie, as Gen. Conde had informed us of their 
presence with a couple of good launches to assist the 
crossing of immigrants, and we had met the General 
only twenty days previous, when this information was 
received from him, who had come directly from the Col 
orado in eleven days. The report of our Maricopa visit 
ors also disproved the statement of Caballo en Pelo, and 
we immediately consulted together as to our future 
course, which was afterward carried into effect, as the 
reader will discover, and to it I attribute our escape from 
the treacherous Yumas. 

We subsequently learned that the persons massacred 
by the Yumas just before our arrival, were John Gallan- 
tin and his band. This man had the reputation of being- 
one of the worst scoundrels who ever existed even in 
that demoralized and villainous region. It is reported 
..of him, that the Governor of Chihuahua, having offered 
a premium of thirty dollars for every Apache scalp, Gal- 
lantin got together a band of cut-throats and went into 
the business. But all his activity and cupidity failed to 
find the Apaches, and scalps became very scarce. De 
termined to make money out of the Governor's terms, he 
commenced killing Papago, Opatah and Yaqui Indians, 
whose scalps he sold in considerable numbers at thirty 
dollars each, declaring that they had been taken from 
the heads of Apaches. But the ease with which Gallan- 
tin and his band supplied themselves, without producing 
any sensible diminution of Apache raids, excited sus 
picion, and he was actually caught taking the scalps 
from the heads of several Mexicans murdered by his 



LIFE AMONG THE APACHES. 117 

people in cold blood. Finding that he had been discov 
ered in his unspeakable villainies, he fled to New Mexico, 
where, by stealing and by purchase, he collected about 
two thousand five hundred head of sheep, with which he 
was passing into California, when he encountered his 
well-merited fate at the hands of the Yumas. Not a 
soul of his band escaped death. 

At the period about which I am writing, Arizona and 
New Mexico were cursed by the presence of two or three 
hundred of the most infamous scoundrels it is possible 
to conceive. Innocent and unoffending men were shot 
down or bowie-knived merely for the pleasure of witness 
ing their death agonies. Men walked the streets and 
public squares with double-barreled shot guns, and 
hunted each other as sportsmen hunt for game. In 
the graveyard of Tucson there were forty-seven graves of 
white men in 1860, ten years after the events above re 
cited, and of that number only two had died natural 
deaths, all the rest being murdered in broils and bar 
room quarrels. Since Carleton's occupation of those 
Territories with his California Column, a great change 
for the better has taken place, and this melioration 
promises to gain ground. 
6* 



CHAPTEE X. 



Fort Yuma. The Yuma Indians. Desperate Situation. Dr. Webb's Bluntness. 
Caballo en Pelo. Method of Camping. Yuma Chiefs our Prisoners. 
The Launch. Crossing the Colorado. March into the Desert. Release of 
the Yumas. Sandstorm in the Desert. Final Escape from the Yumas. 
Sufferings on the Desert. Carisso Creek. "Vallecito. Hospitality of Army 
Officers. Col. Heintzleman. Yumas Reduced to Subjection. 



THE foregoing digression is excusable, on the ground 
that it exposes, to some extent, the character of the 
American people who first made the intimate acquaint 
ance of the Indian tribes occupying the country on the 
direct route of migration between the Atlantic and Pa 
cific States, and, in a measure, accounts for their hostile 
advances. The Pimos and Maricopas must, however, be 
excepted from this category, as they never, on any occa 
sion, no matter how much goaded, exhibited any venge 
ful or adverse spirit toward Americans. In like man 
ner, these remarks cannot apply to the Apaches, who 
never, at any time, ceased their active hostility and 
treacherous attacks. 

Soon after Caballo en Pelo, or the "Naked Horse," 
entered our camp, he made a signal to his associates, 
and we soon had an accession of fourteen more, embrac 
ing several of the principal men in the Yuma tribe. 
They were all unarmed, and each one expressed his de 
sire to maintain friendly relations with our people. Dr. 
Webb, with his usual blunt honesty of character, and 
total neglect of policy, abruptly asked them "If 
you mean as you profess, why did you drive away the 



LIFE AMONG THE APACHES. 119 

small body of soldiers left here to assist the Americans 
in crossing the river and supplying their needs, and, 
why did you massacre the American party with sheep, 
who came here on their road to California ?" These un 
expected queries discomfited the savages, and threw us 
"all aback," as may readily be supposed. Caballo en 
Pelo, Pasqual, and several other leading men, undertook 
to deny these charges in toto, but we were too well in 
formed, and their denials only tended to put us more 
than ever on the qui vive. 

A few words interchanged between the members of our 
party decided our course of action. ^In any case we 
were fully committed, and nothing but perilous meas 
ures could decide the result of our desperate surround 
ings. It was determined to hold all the Yumas present 
as captives, subject to instant death upon the exhibition 
of any hostility on the part of that tribe. We felt that 
our lives were at the mercy of those savages, but also re 
solved that we should not be sacrificed without a corre 
sponding amount of satisfaction. Their principal men 
were in our camp unarmed; we had the disposal of their 
lives in our power, and knew that they could not escape 
in the event of any hostile act against our small party. 
These deliberations were fully unfolded to the chiefs, 
who were informed that no more of their tribe would be 
admitted into our camp without jeopardizing the safety 
of those already there. The} 7 were also told, that hav 
ing come of their own free will, they would be expected 
to remain during our pleasure, and, in the meantime, be 
fed fronvour very limited resources. They were further 
more informed that the launch which they had taken 
from the soldiers would be needed for our conveyance 
across the Colorado, and as we knew it to be in their 
possession, it must be forthcoming when required. The 



120 LIFE AMONG THE APACHES. 

first act of Caballo en Pelo was to signalize his people 
not to approach our camp, which was located on a sand- 
spit, with three hundred yards clear rifle range on all 
sides not covered by the river. He then went on to dis 
claim any inimical design, quoting the fact that he and 
his chief men had sought us unarmed, when they might 
have overwhelmed our paltry force with hundreds of 
warriors. He also stated that they had no hostile feel 
ings toward white men coming from the east, but would 
oppose all from the west, as they had learned that a 
force from that quarter was being prepared for a cam 
paign against them. They were not at war with Amer 
icans generally, but solely with those whom they ex 
pected from California with warlike intentions. Caballo 
en Pelo then asked if he and his companions were to 
consider themselves prisoners. To this home question 
Dr. Webb, who was in charge of our party, directed me 
to answer yes, they were; and would be held as such, 
until the launches they had taken from the soldiers were 
produced for our passage across the Colorado, and they 
had given satisfactory evidence of their peaceful inten 
tions. This abrupt announcement was not pleasing to 
our savage guests, who exhibited alarm, mingled with 
half -uttered threats of vengeance; but the old motto, 
"in for a penny, in for a pound," was the only one we 
could adopt under the circumstances, and our resolution 
was as unalterable as the laws of the Medes and Per 
sians. 

Dr. Webb furthermore informed the Yumas that they 
must order their warriors, who were gathering thickly on 
our side the river, not to approach within three hundred 
yards, adding, " we suspect your motives, and intend to 
have the first blood, if any is to be shed. Your chief 
men are in our power. Your people can kill us, as they 



LIFE AMONG THE APACHES. 121 

are so much more numerous, but we will kill you first, if 
they do not obey our orders which shall be promulgated 
through you/' 

This was undoubtedly the ' ' tightest fix " our visitors 
ever got in. They were by no means prepared for such 
a decided stand, and were quite at a loss for expedient. 
Seeing resolution in each man's eye, and knowing that it 
was our determination to put them to death the moment 
any decidedly hostile step should be taken by their peo 
ple, they concluded to make the best of a bad bargain, 
and escape by strategy from the trap they had prepared 
to spring upon us, but in which they had caught them 
selves. 

Caballo en Pelo made a few signs to the surrounding 
and anxious multitude, which then quietly retreated out 
of sight among the dense willows which grew with re 
markable luxuriance about three hundred yards from the 
river. We then dug two holes, about'twenty feet apart, 
parallel to each other, and each about five feet long by 
one and a half wide and two deep. In these holes we 
made blazing fires which rose about two or three feet 
above the surface of the ground, and between these fires 
we ordered the Yumas to lie down, side by side, while a 
sentinel with a cocked six-shooter paraded along the 
line of their heads, and another along the line of their 
feet. A flank escape was impossible, as it was prevented 
by a bright and hot fire on each side. Our few remain 
ing animals were drawn up in line on the river side of 
the camp, with a guard outside of them and within 
twenty feet of the whole party. "We slept but little that 
night, and at early dawn we were once more afoot, and 
in discussion with the Yumas, who stoutly denied any 
hostile motive, and professed indignation at their treat 
ment. We gave them a good breakfast, as we had given 



122 LIFE AMONG THE APACHES. 

them a plentiful supper the evening previous, and then 
reiterated our demand for the la.uneh.es, while they as 
stubbornly denied any knowledge of their existence. 

That day we moved down the river about eleven miles 
and selected a good camp ground early in the afternoon. 
Again we were surrounded by hundreds of Indians, but 
the personal fears of our hostages kept them at bay, and 
they did not approach nearer than three hundred yards. 
The night passed as the previous one had done, and we 
perceived it was the intention of the Yumas to wear us 
out, and then seize their opportunity; but this scheme 
was frustrated by the nerve and decision of Dr. Webb, 
who next morning informed Caballo en Pelo and his 
chief followers, that "we were well aware of the exist 
ence of the launches by oral as well as written intelli 
gence; that they were absolutely necessary to cross the 
Colorado; that we knew the Yumas had driven away the 
small garrison of American soldiers and had the launches 
in their possession; that we had met the escaped Marico- 
pas, who told us all about the massacre of Gallantin and 
his party, and the appropriation of the launches by the 
Yumas; and, finally, that if those launches were not 
forthcoming by twelve o'clock the next day, we should 
at once proceed to extremities and kill him and all the 
Yumas in our camp." 

It may well be supposed that this sort of talk aroused 
the liveliest alarm among our prisoners, who commenced 
an excited conversation in their own tongue, which cul 
minated in a request from Caballo en Pelo that one of 
his young men be permitted to leave our camp and make 
inquiry if the launches really were in existence, and if 
so, to bring it down river to our camp. This was agreed 
to, and a young lad, about eighteen years of age, the 
son of Pasqual, selected for the business. He was al- 



LIFE AMOXG THE APACHES.. 123 

lowed to depart with the positive assurance that we would 
keep our words in regarc^to his father and the other head 
men of the Yuma tribe in our camp. 

That night we observed more than the usual precau 
tions, for one-half our number were on guard at all 
times. Next morning no Indians were to be seen, but at 
ten o'clock A. M., a large launch, capable of holding half 
our party with their baggage, was seen approaching un 
der the conduct of two Yumas. It was moored in front 
of our camp, and immediate preparations were made for 
crossing. Five of us, taking half the Yuma prisoners, 
immediately embarked with rifles in hand, ready for use, 
and as we could easily sweep both sides the river, our 
party was really as strong as ever. Our mules and 
horses were made to swim across under the lead and 
direction of two Yumas, who were kept within range of 
our rifles, and in this manner we succeeded in gaining 
the western bank of the Colorado, after three most ex 
citing days of detention amidst overwhelming numbers 
of" hostile savages; but our troubles were not yet ended. 
"We had still to undergo another ordeal, even more per 
ilous, because we had no hostages as securities for our 
safety from attack. 

Having gained the western bank of the Colorado in 
peace, the Yumas demanded to be released from captiv 
ity, but our safety would not permit such a course, and 
Dr. Webb informed them that they must remain in camp 
that night and would be set free next day. The utmost 
precaution was again observed throughout the night, and 
at three o'clock next morning we were once more en 
route toward California, accompanied by the leading 
Yumas, who were kept closely guarded. That day we 
penetrated twenty-eight miles into the great Colorado 
desert, halting about four o'clock p. M., in a place where 



124 LIFE AMONG THE APACHES. 

neither water nor wood existed, and completely sur 
rounded by hills and banks of white sand. With much 
toil several of our number ascended one or two of the 
highest hillocks, but as far as the eye could reach noth 
ing was to be seen but one unbroken expanse of sand 
white, dazzling under the rays of a burning sun, unre 
lieved by a single bush or shrub broken and fretted 
with countless hillocks, and utterly void of animal life. 
This part of the Colorado desert is much more frightful 
than the great Sahara of Africa. The absolute stillness 
and repose is something awful; it is death in life; it is 
the most impressive lesson of man's feebleness, and the 
most startling reproof against his vanity. In our case 
these sensations were not mitigated by the knowledge of 
being surrounded by a fierce, warlike and numerous In 
dian tribe, thirsting for our blood, and eager to revenge 
the indignity they had 'suffered by the captivity of their 
head chiefs, and the failure of their treacherous schemes. 
As before stated, we halted and made preparations as 
if to encamp. Dr. Webb then directed Mr. Thurber to 
ascend the highest sand hill in the neighborhood, exam 
ine all around with his field glass and report if the In 
dians were upon our trail. In about half an hour Mr. 
Thurber returned, and assured us that from two to three 
hundred Yumas were within five miles of our position, 
and heading toward our camp. There was no time to 
lose. Caballo en Pelo with his fellow captives were im 
mediately informed that they must take the back track 
and return to the river, that our road was toward the 
west, that we had no more provisions to give them, and 
that it was indispensable for us to part company then 
and there. To these requirements the wily chief demur 
red, and stated his desire to go on with us to California. 
He was overruled by the strong persuasive force of draw- 



LIFE AMONG THE APACHES. 125 

ing our pistols, and giving him the sole alternative of 
obeying or dying. They chose the former, and decamped 
with haste. So soon as they disappeared round the base 
of a friendly sand hill, we immediately repacked our 
wagon, and drove on with all possible speed, hoping to 
escape in the fast coming darkness. 

Eleven years afterward, Pasqual himself told me that 
they met about three hundred of their warriors half an 
hour after being expelled from our camp, and the whole 
band came in pursuit of us, but as the Indian never risks 
life w T hen he thinks the same end can be accomplished 
by strategy, and as time is of no moment to them, it was 
agreed to fall foul of us just before daylight the next 
morning, and by a rapid and combined assault massacre 
our little party with comparative ease and impunity. 
Acting on that policy, they approached our abandoned 
camp with extreme caution, and commenced a survey 
from surrounding hillocks. They were not surprised to 
see no fire, as they knew there was no wood in that part 
of the desert, and they remained quiescent until nearly 
morning, when their scouts gave them the unwelcome 
information that we were gone. 

Our night was continued all night and part of the next 
day, until overtaken by one of those dreadful sandstorms 
which prevail on the Colorado desert. The day was in 
tensely hot, and tHe most oppressive silence seemed to 
reign absolute. Suddenly a dark, dense and singular 
looking cloud arose in the west and moved toward us 
with incredible velocity. Great masses of heavy sand 
were lifted as if they were so many feathers and carried 
high into the air with extreme violence. The places for 
merly occupied by huge hillocks containing many thou 
sand tons of sand, were swept clean as if by magic in a 
few moments, and the vast banks removed to other lo- 



126 LIFE AMONG THE APACHES. 

calities in the twinkling of an eye. Our mules fell flat 
upon their bellies and thrust their noses close to the 
ground, our horses followed their example none of us 
could stand against the force and might of the storm 
and we, too, laid down flat, hauling a tent over us. In 
a few moments the tent was so deeply covered with sand 
as to retain its position, and every now and then we were 
compelled to remove the swiftly gathering mass, to avoid 
being absolutely buried alive. Amidst the distress, the 
horrible sensations, and the suffocating feelings occa 
sioned by this sirocco, we entertained the grateful sense 
of protection from our savage pursuers, who were quite 
as incapable of facing that terrific storm as we were. 
For forty-eight hours we had not tasted food, and were 
more than a day without water in the hottest climate 
known to man, and our distress heightened by the in 
tense craving for water invariably attendant on those 
scorching blasts of the desert. These sensations were 
not alleviated by the fact of knowing that we had yet a 
journey of forty miles before we could find water. 

About three o'clock p. M., the storm passed off, and we 
instantly resumed our way without cooking food, for eat 
ing could only add to our already terrible thirst. All 
that night our weary feet trod that infernal desert until 
the glowing morning sun shone upon us like a plate of 
molten brass, but we had arrived at a~fine camp ground, 
thickly supplied with shady mesquit trees and abound 
ing with excellent grass for our worn-out animals, which 
had dwindled down to less than one-half the number we 
boasted before crossing the Colorado. About an hour 
after camping, the step-father of Inez, who served us as 
guide, reported that he saw an alamo tree a short dis 
tance off, and he believed that there must be water in its 
neighborhood. Several of us proceeded to the spot and 



LIFE AMONG THE APACHES. 127 

in a short time discovered a small pool containing about 
twenty gallons of water deposited in a hollow by a for 
mer copious rain, and sheltered from the sun by friendly 
brush. The joyful news was soon made known to the 
rest of our comrades, and our raging thirst slaked, after 
which the remainder of the water was equally divided 
among our famishing stock. As Carisso creek was then 
within a day's march, no thought was taken for the mor 
row, and after a most refreshing night's rest, we re-com- 
rnenced our journey at early dawn, reaching Carisso 
creek about five o'clock on the afternoon of the same 
day. At this place we felt ourselves wholly -safe from 
the Yumas. There was abundance of pasture, and water 
and wood, and we would have remained for a day or two 
to obtain much needed rest, but our provisions had en 
tirely given out, and we had still one hundred miles of 
travel before us without an ounce of food, unless such as 
might possibly be procured in the way of game. 

With sad hearts and weakened frames we pushed for 
ward until we reached Yallecito, where we found an 
American garrison consisting of a company of infantry 
and three officers. By these warm-hearted and gallant 
gentlemen we were received with the greatest courtesy 
and kindliness, and entertained by them with a warmth 
of hospitality which has found an abiding place among 
my most grateful recollections. Some time had elapsed 
since supplies were received from San Diego, and they 
were themselves on "short commons," and unable to 
furnish us with the provisions needed to complete our 
journey; but gave us freely to the extent of their power. 
It would have been gross ingratitude to remain there, 
living upon the very diminished stores of our kind enter 
tainers, and we again pushed forward the next day. Our 
course lay over the Volcan mountain, and upon its mag- 



128 LIFE AMONG- THE APACHES. 

nificent height we found a rancho owned and inhabited 
by a big-hearted gentleman, who ministered to our wants 
and furnished us with two fresh mules. Next day we 
resumed our march, and soon after passing the old battle 
ground of San Pascual met Col. Heintzleman, in com 
mand of three hundred troops, on his way to chastise 
the Yuma Indians for their many murders and robberies. 
The officers were surprised to meet us coming from the 
river, and asked many questions, which we were de 
lighted to answer, giving valuable information. 

Col. Heintzleman's force was subsequently increased 
to five hundred rn?n, and after two years' active warfare 
he succeeded in reducing the Yumas, who have never 
since presumed to contend against our power. Since 
then Fort Yuma has become a noted frontier fortification, 
surrounded by many hundreds of American citizens, who 
live, for the most part, on the eastern bank of the river, 
and carry on a lucrative trade with the interior of Ari 
zona and the Yumas, Cocopahs, Cushans, Amojaves and 
other tribes. The waters of the Colorado are now plowed 
by half a dozen steamers, and my old enemies, the Yumas, 
do the "chores" and menial offices for the whites. The 
next day after meeting Col. Heintzleman we reached San 
Diego, devoutly thankful to Providence for our many 
and almost miraculous escapes from the tomahawks and 
scalping knives of the Indian tribes through which we 
had passed for the distance of two thousand eight hun 
dred miles. 



CHAPTER XL 

Letter from Senator Clemens. Resign from the Boundary Commission. Depar 
ture of the Commission. New Expedition. Ride up the Gila. Terrible 
Conflict with Apaches. Desperate Personal Encounter. Defeat of the 
Savages. Return of the Expedition. Long for a Quiet Life. San Fran 
cisco. Cogitations on Indian Character. Advice Given and Disdained. 
"flie Fatal Results. Necessity for Constant Caution. Extent of Apache 
Country. Numerical Strength of the Apaches. Female Warriors. False 
Impressions of Indian Character. 

A WEEK after our safe arrival in San Diego, worn-out 
and suffering from nearly two years' wandering upon the 
uninhabited deserts of Texas, Arizona, northern Sonora, 
and a portion of New Mexico, I received a warm, cordial 
and brotherly letter from the Hon. Jere Clemens, Sen 
ator from Alabama, who had been my Lieutenant-Colonel 
during a portion of the Mexican war, after the death of 
Col. Ransom, and the capture of Chapultepec, which 
letter informed me that although the appropriation for 
the Boundary Commission had passed Congress, yet 
John B. Weller, Senator from California, had managed 
to have inserted in it a proviso which would have the 
effect of rendering that appropriation unavailable, and 
that the probabilities were we would be disbanded in the 
deserts, without money, or the means of return to our 
friends and home at the East. He also advised me to 
leave the Commission, as we had arrived within the pre 
cincts of civilization, and pursue some other avocation. 
The advice and arguments of my former superior, whose 
kindness and remembrance had followed me throughout 
our toilsome and dangerous career, convinced niy mind 



130 LIFE AMONG THE APACHES. 

of their value, and I resigned my place in the Commis 
sion. Three weeks afterward it returned toward the 
East, while I remained in San Diego. 

About a month after the Commission had departed, 
carrying with it my warmest and most kindly esteem to 
ward its gallant and noble-hearted members, a small 
party of ten men was formed for the purpose of entering 
and exploring a portion of Arizona, with a view to locate 
and exploit some of its valuable gold and silver mines, 
and I was engaged as the interpreter and guide of the 
party, on a salary of five hundred dollars per month. 

On an appointed day we started, and after a tedious 
march, reached the Colorado, which was then the theater 
of an active war against the Yuma Indians. Col. Heint- 
zleman had arrived with his troops and had begun a vig 
orous campaign. We w T ere immediately crossed by the 
guard in charge of the launch, and cautioned about the 
Yumas, who were then supposed to be in force on the 
Gila, about thirty miles from its junction with the Col 
orado. In consequence of this warning, we determined 
to proceed by night instead of day until we had passed 
the field occupied by the savages. The rumbling of our 
two wagons, and the watchful stillness of our party, im 
pressed the savages with the belief that we were an 
armed body stealing a march upon them, and we passed 
unmolested in the dark, arriving at Antelope Peak in 
our march from Fort Yuma. Here we considered our 
selves comparatively safe from the Yumas, although ex 
posed to visits from the Tonto Apaches, who inhabit the 
northern side of the Gila from Antelope Peak to the 
Pimo villages. Our party was well armed, each person 
having two revolvers, a good rifle and a large knife, and 
we felt ourselves equal to four or five times our number 
of Indians in an open fight, but were also aware that the 
utmost precaution was necessary at all times. 



LIFE AMONG THE APACHES. 131 

Just below and about what is known as GrinnelFs 
Station the road is covered from four to five inches deep 
with a fine and almost impalpable dust, containing- an 
abundance of alkali. The lightest treacj. sends it in clouds 
far over head, and a body of men riding together in close 
column are so thoroughly enveloped as to prevent the 
recognizing of each other at the distance of only three 
feet. In some places the road passes through the middle 
of an extensive plain, apparently incapable of affording 
covert to a hare. We had arrived at one of these wide 
openings, and were inclosed in a cloud of dust so dense 
as completely to bar the vision of all except the two who 
occupied the advance. One or two others attempted to 
ride on one side of the road, but the terrible thorns of 
the cactus and the pointed leaves of the Spanish bayonet 
which soon covered their horses legs with blood, and 
lamed the poor animals, induced them to resume the 
dusty road. No one expected an attack in so open, ex 
posed and unsheltered a place, yet it was the very one se 
lected for such a purpose. The wily savages knew that we 
would be upon our guard in passing a defile, a thick wood, 
or a rocky canon; and also judged that we might be care 
less while crossing an open plain. They were well ac 
quainted with the dusty character of the road, and re 
lying on it to conceal their presence, had secreted them 
selves close to its southern edge, awaiting our approach. 

&t a certain spot, where a dozen or two yucca trees 
elevated their sharp-pointed leaves about four feet above 
ground, and while we were shrouded in a cloud of dust, 
a sharp, rattling volley was poured into us from a dis 
tance of less than twenty yards. It has always been a 
matter of astonishment to me that none of our party 
were either killed or wounded; but w r e lost two mules 
and three horses by that fire. The dense dust prevented 



132 LIFE AMONG THE APACHES. 

the Apaches from taking aim, and they fired a little too 
low. It was no time for hesitation, and the order was 
at once given to dismount and fight on foot. We could 
distinguish little or nothing; shot after shot was ex 
pended in the direction of the savages; now and then a 
dark body would be seen and made a target of as soon 
as seen. Each man threw himself flat upon the ground; 
but scarcely any could tell where his companions were. 
It was pre-eminently a fight in % which each man was on 
"his own hook." 

While we laid prostrate the dust settled somewhat, 
and we were about to obtain a good sight of the enemy, 
when John Wollaston cried out "Up boys, they are 
making a rush." Each man rose at the word, and a 
hand to hand contest ensued which beggars all descrip 
tion. It was at this juncture that our revolvers did the 
work, as was afterward shown. Again the dust rose in 
blinding clouds, hurried up by the tramping feet of con 
tending men. We stood as much chance to be shot by 
each other as by the savages. The quick rattling of pis 
tols was heard on all sides, but the actors in this work 
of death were invisible. Tiie last charge of my second 
pistol had been exhausted; my large knife lost in the 
thick dust on the road, and the only weapon left me was 
a small double-edged, but sharp and keen, dagger, with 
a black whalebone hilt, and about four inches long on 
the blade. I was just reloading a six-shooter, whelf a 
robust and athletic Apache, much heavier than myself, 
stood before me, not more than, three feet off. He was 
naked with the single exception of a breach cloth, and 
his person was oiled from head to foot. I was clothed 
in a green hunting frock, edged with black, a pair of 
green pants, trimmed with black welts, and a green, 
broad-brimmed felt hat. The instant we met, he ad- 



LIFE AMONG THE APACHES. 133 

vanced upon me with a long and keen knife, with which 
he made a plunge at my breast. This attack was met by 
stopping his right wrist with my left hand, and at the 
same moment I lunged my small dagger full at his ab 
domen. He caught my right wrist in his left hand, and 
for a couple of seconds a long time under such circum 
stances we stood regarding each other, my left hand 
holding his right above my head, and his left retaining 
my right on a level with his body. Feeling that he was 
greased, and that I had no certain hold, I tripped him 
with a sudden and violent pass of the right foot, which 
brought him to the ground, but in falling he seized and 
carried me down with him. In a moment the desperate 
savage gained the ascendant, and planted himself firmly 
on my person, with his right knee on my left arm, con 
fining it closely, and his left arm pinioning my right to 
the ground, while his right arm was free. I was com 
pletely at his mercy. His personal strength and weight 
were greater than mine. His triumph and delight glared 
from his glittering black eyes, and he resolved to lose 
nothing of his savage enjoyment. Holding me down 
with the'-grasp of a giant, against which all my struggles 
were wholly vain, he raised aloft his long, sharp knife, 
and said " Pindah lickoyee das-ay-go, dee-dab, tatsan," 
which means, "the white-eyed man, you will be soon 
dead." I thought as he did, and in that frightful mo 
ment made a hasty commendation of my soul to the Be 
nevolent, but I am afraid that it was mingled with some 
scheme to get out of my predicament, if possible. 

To express the sensations I underwent at that moment 
is not within the province of language. My erratic and 
useless life passed in review before me in less than an in 
stant of time. I lived more in that minute or two of our 
deadly struggle than I had ever done in years, and, as I 
7 



134 LIFE AMONG THE APACHES. 

was wholly powerless, I gave myself up for lost another 
victim to Apache ferocity. His bloodshot eyes gleamed 
upon me with intense delight, and he seemed to delay 
the death-stroke for the purpose of gladdening his heart 
upon my fears and inexpressible torture. All this trans 
pired in less than half a minute, but to me it seemed 
hours. Suddenly he raised his right arm for the final 
stroke. I saw the descending blow of the deadly weapon, 
and knew the force with which it was driven. 

The love of life is a strong feeling at any time; but to 
be killed like a pig, by an Apache, seemed pre-eminently 
dreadful and contumelious. Down came the murderous 
knife, aimed full at my throat, for his position on my 
body made that the most prominent part of attack. In 
stantly I twisted my head and neck one side to avoid the 
blow and prolong life as much as possible. The keen 
blade passed in dangerous proximity to my throat, and 
buried itself deeply in the soft soil, penetrating my black 
silk cravat, while his right thumb came within reach of 
my mouth, and was as quickly seized between my teeth. 
His struggles to free himself were fearful, but my life 
depended on holding fast. Finding his efforts vain, he 
released his grasp of my right arm and seized his knife 
with his left hand, but the change, effected under ex 
treme pain, reversed the whole state of affairs. Before 
my antagonist could extricate his deeply-buried weapon 
with his left hand, and while his right was held fast be 
tween my teeth, I circled his body and plunged my sharp 
and faithful dagger twice between his ribs, just under 
his left arm, at the same time making another convulsive 
effort to throw off his weight. In this I succeeded, and 
in a few moments had the satisfaction of seeing my en 
emy gasping his last under my repeated thrusts. Lan 
guage would fail to convey anything like my sensations 



LIFE AMONG THE APACHES. 135 

during that deadly contest, and I will not attempt the 
task. 

About the same time the battle terminated with the 
defeat of our assailants, who lost ten killed and several 
wounded, how many we never knew. On our side, we 
lost one man James Kendick and had three wounded, 
viz: John Wollaston, John H. Marble and Theodore 
Heuston. Houston and Marble died of their wounds 
soon after reaching Tucson, although they received the 
kindest nursing and attention from that noble Castilian 
gentleman, Juan Fernandez, and his amiable family. 
This sad result broke up the party, and I returned to 
San Diego shortly afterward with a party of immigrants 
coming to California. 

The above was one of the few occasions wherein the 
Apaches have boldly attacked travelers from whom they 
could expect no great booty and lose many lives in a con 
flict. They were probably incited to the surprise by 
some more than usually daring spirit, who planned the 
affair and trusted for success in its distinctive and un 
expected nature. We were precisely in a portion of the 
country which afforded no ostensible covert, and conse 
quently made us less cautious. They knew the charac 
ter of the road, and the blinding nature and volume of 
the dust. They depended upon the first fire to slay a 
number of our party, and produce a panic among the 
survivors. They counted upon a surprise and an easy 
victory, and expected to inherit our horses, mules, arms 
and provisions. They had conceived well, and acted 
gallantly, but were frustrated, although the results were 
of the saddest nature to our small company, as they com 
pletely upset our original intentions by the death of The 
odore Heuston, who was the capitalist and founder of 
the expedition. 



136 LIFE AMONG THE APACHES. 

This event initiated me into another phase of Apache 
character I had never before seen. It proved that they 
are capable of bold and dangerous undertakings under 
very adverse circumstances, or when the chances are 
nearly evenly balanced; but this seldom occurs, as they 
almost invariably have opportunities to examine, at their 
leisure, all persons or parties who enter the regions in 
habited by them, and form their plans so as to take every 
advantage with the least possible chance of losing a 
man. 

After my return to San Diego, I determined to forsake 
my wild, almost nomadic life, and return to civilized ex 
istence. I was tired and disgusted with the incessant 
watchfulness, the unceasing warfare, and unrequited 
privations I had suffered. Life had been a round of con 
tentions for two years. I had passed through an un 
broken series of tribulations and dangers during that 
period. Hunger, thirst, severe cold and excessive heat, 
with much personal peril, had been my invariable con 
comitants, and I panted for a more quiet life. San 
Francisco held forth the only inducement on this coast, 
and thither I wended my way, on the steamer Sea Bird, 
then commanded by Capt. Healey, with Gorman as 
mate. 

As this narrative is wholly devoted to incidents and 
adventures among Indian tribes, the author will be ex 
cused from giving a recital of his life until he was again 
compelled, in obedience to orders, to renew acquaint 
ance with nomadic races. It is sufficient to say, that 
twelve years elapsed before such intimacy was effected, 
faithful details of which will be given in the succeeding 
chapters. 

During the period of quiescence from exciting life 
which succeeded two. years' eventful wanderings across 



LIFE AMONG THE APACHES. 137 

the North American continent, abundant opportunities 
existed for reconsidering and drawing just inferences 
from the past. The conclusions arrived at then appeared 
well founded, if judged from the light of the experiences 
through which I had passed; but a subsequent career, 
under unusually favorable circumstances, gave me to 
comprehend how much my early judgment had erred. 
I had seen bat the outside had witnessed but the husk; 
the interior the kernel of the nut still remained un- 
tasted and unknown. I had nattered myself with having 
achieved a fair knowledge of Indian character. I believe 
my personal observations had been sufficient to instruct 
me on that subject. Former travels through South 
America, from Buenos Ayres to Valparaiso when I was 
a sort of captive among the Pategonian Indians for seven 
months seemed to justify me in thinking I had made a 
correct analysis of Indian traits. But I was much in 
error. Sufficient credit had not been given to their 
mental powers, their ability to calculate chances, to 
estimate and foresee the plans of others, to take pre 
cautions, to manoeuvre with skill, to insure concert of 
action by a recognized code of signals, to convey infor 
mation to succeeding parties of the route, numbers and 
designs of those who preceded, and to bring together 
formidable bodies from distant points without the aid of 
messengers. Much, very much, was yet to be learned. 

A boy of twenty years is very apt to credit himself 
with having acquired a very satisfactory idea of human 
nature, and no amount of instruction and advice from 
his elders will induce him to change his views until a 
fuller experience makes him realize the fact that when 
he thought himself master of the situation, he was in 
reality only entering upon its rudimental knowledge. 
Of all people, Americans seem less inclined to receive 



138 LIFE AMONG THE APACHES. 

and profit by the advice of others founded upon a larger 
and more matured experience. They want to know for 
themselves, and place the most abiding faith in their 
own judgment and readiness of resource. They seem to 
regard a warning as a sort of reflection upon their per 
sonal courage or skill, and frequently treat friendly 
counsel with somewhat of petulance. A most lamenta 
ble instance of this nature occurred to myself. After 
my second term of military service in Arizona, I was re 
turning home via Fort Yuma, when I received an intro 
duction to a Paymaster, with the rank of Major, in the 
Regular service. Dr. Tappan, Assistant Surgeon of Vol 
unteers, was present at the time, and asked me to favor 
him with some instructions in reference to the marches, 
camping grounds, distances, and dangers to be met on 
their projected route up the Gila river to the place for 
merly known as Fort Breckinridge. It was clearly my 
duty, as well as my pleasure, to put him in possession of 
all the knowledge I had gleaned in reference to these 
points, and I closed my information by tracing a map of 
the route, and volunteering advice to the following effect. 
You must never, said I, permit your zeal to outrun 
your discretion. Remember that a well appointed and 
careful party may travel through Arizona from one year's 
end to the other, without ever seeing an Apache, or any 
trace of his existence, and from this cause travelers fre 
quently become careless and fall an easy prey to their 
sleepless watchfulness. Indeed, it is not difficult to 
point out many who have no faith in their apparent 
ubiquity, but believe that they must be sought in their 
strongholds. There are others again who will not be 
convinced that the eyes of these Indians are always upon 
them, because they see nothing to indicate that fact; but 
the truth is, every move you make, every step you ad- 



LIFE AMONG THE APACHES. 139 

vance, every camp you visit, is seen and noted by them, 
with the strictest scrutiny. If they perceive that you are 
careful, prepared for any contingency, and always on 
your guard, they wll hesitate about making any attack 
with ten times your force, especially if your party does 
not oifer sufficient inducement in the matter of plunder. 
Bat if they observe the least neglect, or want of precau 
tion on your part, you will be assaulted at the very mo 
ment, in the very place, and under circumstances when 
least expected, with every probability of success in their 
favor. I further remarked, your party, I understand, 
will be a small one, of not more than ten or twelve per 
sons, including an escort of nine men of the Regular 
Infantry. None of these men have probably ever been 
in an Indian country, and, if they have, no experience 
elsewhere will avail them among the Apaches, whose 
mode of warfare is so entirely at variance with those of 
all other tribes. The Regular soldiers, in order to pre 
serve the polish and fine appearance of their guns, are in 
the habit of carrying them in covers and unloaded. This 
should be avoided. The men should be made to carry 
their muskets loaded, capped, and ready for action at a 
second's warning. They must be restrained from strag 
gling, and moved in such order as will guarantee the 
greatest amount of security to every individual. Special 
care should be observed soon after entering a camping- 
ground, when the men generally lay aside their weapons 
and separate into detachments to bring wood and water. 
I cannot too strongly impress you with the necessity for 
a rigid observance of this caution in all cases where the 
party is small, and no sufficient armed body left in camp, 
or provided as guards for the protection of those engaged 
in other necessary duties. 

Dr. Tappan thanked me cordially for the information 



140 LIFE AMONO THE APACHES. 

imparted, and especially for the advice given in relation 
to the Apaches, but the Major rather coolly intimated 
that he was quite capable of managing his own affairs, 
and had seen enough of Indian life to put him in posses 
sion of all necessary information. I touched my cap and 
withdrew somewhat mortified. Soon afterward intelli 
gence was received that the Major, Dr. Tappan and three 
others had been killed at the Cotton-wood Springs, by 
the Apaches. It seems that soon after entering upon 
the camp ground, the party broke into small unarmed 
squads, which went in search. of wood and to bring wa 
ter, when their ever-watchful and tigerish fees seized 
the opportunity to dash in and massacre all they could. 
In this miserable manner the lives of two valuable offi 
cers and three brave men were sacrificed for the want of 
a little caution which could have been easily exercised. 

Let it be borne in mind at all times that the Apaches 
have scarcely ever been known to make a fighting attack 
at night. Under cover of the darkness they will steal 
into camp and conceal themselves from detection with 
wondrous skill, in the hope of effecting a robbery; but 
that is the extent of their night operations, unless they 
become emboldened by the most reckless and foolhardy 
carelessness. Their onslaughts are almost invariably 
made by day, and at such times and places as tend to 
impart the greatest sense of security. When they mean 
mischief no marks are to be seen no traces, no tracks, 
no "signs" discoverable. The unsuspecting traveler, 
lulled into, a fatal belief that none of them are near, re 
laxes his caution, and is caught as surely as the spider 
meshes the confiding fly. I have seen men, who, being 
in company with large and well armed parties, had never 
seen an Apache after a year of wandering in their coun 
try, actually doubted the existence of those savages 



LIFE AMONG THE APACHES. 141 

except amidst their strongholds, until a recklessness 
begotten of unbelief, induced them to relax their 
watchfulness and incur special risks. In some cases, 
they have succeeded and got off scot free, but in ninety 
out of a hundred they have either fallen victims to mis 
placed confidence, or escaped almost by miracle. Let 
no one natter himself with the idea that, from the mo 
ment he has passed the Pimo villages, he is at any time 
unobserved by the Apaches. Being a non-productive 
race, subsisting wholly on plunder and game, and inca 
pable of providing a commissariat which will maintain 
any considerable body for even a week or two, they 
are scattered in small but active parties throughout the 
whole of Arizona, a large part of New Mexico, and all 
the northern portions of Chihuahua and Sonora, and in 
some parts of Durango. The territory over which they 
roam, and in which they appear to be ubiquitous, is 
more than three times larger than California; and Cali 
fornia possesses more area than all the New England 
States, together with New York and New Jersey. This 
is to say, that the country over which the Apache race 
holds the mastership which is literally the fact is 
nearly as extensive as all the States which border on the 
Atlantic and the Gulf of Mexico put together. No great 
expenditure of arithmetic is necessary to prove that, to 
domineer over a region so vast, to guard all its passes, 
to keep watchmen on all the principal heights overlook 
ing the plains usually traveled, to keep up a regular 
system of videttes over its expanse, to strike a half dozen 
places two and three hundred miles apart at the same 
time, to organize parties for scouring the wide valleys 
and attending the movements of travelers, and to be a 
terror and a scourge throughout its whole area, must 
employ the utmost resources, activity and energy of a 
7* 



142 LIFE AMONG THE APACHES. 

numerous people, exceedingly vigilant and rapid in their 
movements. 

Casual observers have, unintentionally, done serious 
evil by underrating their real strength, to an extent al 
most inconceivable among those who are better informed. 
I have been in company with a body of fifteen hundred 
at the very time that intelligence was received that a 
half dozen other parties, numbering from twenty to 
three hundred each, were actively engaged in commit 
ting depredations at other points embraced in a radius 
of five hundred miles, and yet I have seen the number 
of Apaches estimated as low as fifteen hundred and two 
thousand. Nearly eight years of personal experiences 
have satisfied me that the Apache race, collectively, will 
number fully twenty-five thousand souls. In this esti 
mate the Navajoes and Lipans are not included, but those 
are who inhabit portions of northwestern Mexico. Of 
this number five thousand are capable of taking the field 
and bearing an active part in their system of warfare. A 
boy of fourteen is quite as formidable an antagonist as a 
man of forty. From behind his rocky rampart or wooded 
covert he speeds a rifle ball as straight to the heart of his 
foe, while his chances for escape, in the event of failure, 
are greater than those of his more aged and heavier as 
sociate. Many of the women delight to participate in 
predatory excursions, urging on the men, and actually 
taking part in conflicts. They ride like centaurs and 
handle their rifles with deadly skill. I cannot conceive 
why the bullet sped by a woman should not be quite as 
much an object of danger as the one shot from the weapon 
of a man. In the estimate made, no account is taken of 
the fighting women, who are numerous, well trained, and 
desperate, often exhibiting more real courage than the 
men. 



LIFE AMONG THE APACHES. 143 

If any one indulges the idea that the Apaches are weak 
and few; that they can be reduced to submission by the 
establishment of scattered forts in the regions occupied 
by them; that they can be tamed, and rendered peace 
able under any circumstances; that they are to be bound 
and holden by treaty stipulations; that they are suscep 
tible of any law except the lex lalionis, or are to be 
constrained by any rule but that of the argumentum ad 
hominum, they are wonderfully in error. The succeeding 
chapters of this unpretending volume of personal experi 
ence acquired after nearly eight years of extraordinary 
facilities to learn the truth will probably have the effect 
to disprove these sophistries in a convincing manner. 
And. here, I assert, that I was in every way predisposed 
to offer every kindly act toward that race. Admiring 
their unyielding resistance ; their acknowledged prowess; 
their undisputed skill and dexterity; their undoubted in 
telligence and native force of character; acquainted with 
their language, traditions, tribal and family organiza 
tions, and enjoying their confidence to a degree never 
before accorded to any but an Apache, I strenuously 
used every effort in consonance with my orders and plain 
duties, to better their condition, and instill such infor 
mation as would best conduce to their future peace and 
happiness. These facts will appear in the course of my 
narrative, together with the lamentable failure of all con 
ciliatory schemes, which were notably aided and seconded 
by the commanding General and his subalterns. 



CHAPTER XII. 



Enter the Volunteer Service. The Column from California. Antelope Peak. 
Visited by Yumas. Making Metates. Get Rid of them by a Ruse. The 
Maricopas Again. Carrying the Mails. Small Force in Camp. Visit of 
Col. Bigg. The Maricopas Recognize me. Their Gratitude. Captain 
Killmoon. Another Remarkable Lunar Performance. Loring's Assist 
ance. Bargaining for Chickens. Magic Virtues of the Compass. Effect 
of the Burning Glass. 

TEN years had passed away before I renewed acquaint 
ance with "Lo." It had been my fervent desire and 
solemn resolve never more to revisit the scenes of so 
much suffering and personal risk. No pecuniary offer 
would have proved a sufficient inducement to forego that 
resolve. But the dreadful war of rebellion burst with 
fury over our heads. My country needed the help of all 
her loyal sons, and I quietly placed myself in their ranks 
as Captain of a company of the Second Cavalry, Califor 
nia Volunteers. General James H. Carleton was ordered 
to advance into Arizona and New Mexico, with a column 
of nearly three thousand California!! soldiers, consisting 
of artillery, infantry and cavalry. He did me the honor 
to select my company from my regiment and make it a 
part of his force. Although nattered by the compliment, 
as mine was the only company of the Second Cavalry 
attached to his column, I felt by no means delighted 
with the prospect of again traveling those arid, exten 
sive, and most inhospitable deserts, mountain gorges, 
and scorching plains, over which the Apache held almost 
undisturbed rule. In military life obedience to order is 
the first requisite of a soldier, and of course I submitted 



LIFE AMONG THE APACHES. 145 

without murmur to this unexpected and disagreeable 
mandate. 

It is foreign to the text of this work to enter into de 
tails of experiences not indicative of Indian character, 
and I will, therefore, pass over the many occurrences 
of military life during the trying winter of 1861 and 
1862, when nearly the whole State was overflowed, and 
over sixty millions of dollars worth of property destroyed 
by the floods. It is not necessary to recite the gigantic 
labors performed by the column from California, in mak 
ing roads; digging and restoring wells in desert places; 
constructing bridges; establishing depots; escorting 
trains, and sending forward advanced bodies of observa 
tion; for certain intelligence had been received that the 
enemy were advancing upon the frontiers of this State, 
and were not far from Fort Yuma. All these details 
have no connection with this volume, and will therefore 
be ignored. 

I was ordered in the advance by Gen. Carleton, with 
instruction to occupy the pass at Antelope Peak until his 
arrival. On reaching that place I found that the Gila 
river had made great inroads upon the mesa or table 
land between it and the hill, until only a passage of 
something like a hundred yards intervened. Of this 
pass I took possession, drawing up my two wagons and 
picket line in such a manner as to intercept all travel, 
while a lookout was maintained during the day from the 
top of the peak, and a well ordered patrol scoured the 
country for a space of ten miles to the eastward at all 
times of day and night. During our occupancy of this 
pass a band of Yumas, about thirty in number, all war 
riors, came up from the Colorado river to collect stones, 
and make metates for their wives. The metate is a slightly 
hollowed hard stone, upon which soaked maize is laid, 



146 LIFE AMONG THE APACHES. 

and then reduced to paste by the vigorous friction of an 
other oblong and partially rounded stone, in the hands 
of squaws " who love their lords." The paste so formed 
is then patted between the hands until it assumes a flat, 
thin and round appearance, when it is laid on a hot pan 
and baked into a tortilla. As no stones of a suitable 
character are found in the neighborhood of the Colorado 
river, nearer than Antelope Peak, the Yum as yearly visit 
that place to obtain them, as the metate is an indispens 
able culinary utensil. 

Three days after we had occupied the pass we were 
visited by the Yumas, who immediately set to work se 
lecting stones and hewing them into the required shape 
in their rude manner. But it was soon discovered that* 
several blankets, and a revolver, for which I was res 
ponsible, had disappeared, and I determined to get rid 
of my Yumas friends soon by stratagem if possible, by 
force if need be. The deadly feud between the Yumas 
and the Maricopas and Pimos has already been stated, 
and the knowledge of this feud served me in the case. 
The sentinel on the hill was instructed to give the alarm 
to indicate the advance of a body from the east, and to 
answer, when questioned, that they were Indians. As that 
side of the compass was occupied only by the Maricopas 
and Pimos, such an arrangement would probably have 
the effect of alarming the Yumas and ridding us of their 
presence. In obedience to order the signal was duly 
made and the programme carried out. The Yumas w r ere 
greatly alarmed, and inquired whether I would protect 
them from the Maricopas. My answer was, that I had 
nothing at all to do with their quarrels; that the Mari 
copas were as much our friends as the Yumas; that I 
possessed no power to take sides, but was entirely sub 
servient to the orders of my chief, and that, if they 



LIFE AMONG THE APACHES. 147 

would procure such an order, I would obey it to tlie 
letter, but under any other circumstances refused to take 
action in the premises. This was enough. Hastily bund 
ling up their metales they decamped with the utmost ce 
lerity and left us undisturbed during the remainder of 
our stay at Antelope Peak. 

- Sometime afterward we reached the first Maricopa vil 
lage, where I was ordered to establish my camp and 
keep up communications between the column and Cali 
fornia. Lieut. -Col. Theodore Coult, of the infantry, was 
in command at the central village, twelve miles beyond 
my post, and successive orders of his reduced my force 
to the Orderly Sergeant, E. B. Loring, (subequently Cap 
tain of Co. A, Second Cavalry, Cal. Vols.) one man with 
a broken arm, and myself. My chief bugler and Quar 
termaster-Sergeant, George Shearer, had been dispatched 
across the Grila Bend, sixty-five miles, with the mails, and 
orders to bring forward the return mails from California. 
Our camp was located on an extensive, clear plain, cov 
ered with short, green alkaline grass, wholly unfit for 
our animals, of which we had twenty-seven, including 
horses and mules. There was also about fifty thousand 
dollars worth of Government property to be guarded, 
and for which I was responsible. By digging a foot 
or two, water was obtainable in abundance, but it was 
so deeply impregnated with alkali as to be almost un- 
drinkable. However, there was nothing else for it, 
and we were compelled to use it or die of thirst. The 
camp ground was nearly two miles west from the near 
est Maricopa village, and had frequently been invaded 
by the Apaches. As our animals were sickened by the 
grass about us, it became indispensable to graze them in 
a more favorable locality which existed about three miles 
further westward, and exactly where the Apaches were 



148 LIFE AMONG THE APACHES. 

frequently visitors. Fortunately, we escaped their at 
tentions at that time. Our far-reaching carbines swept 
the whole expanse around "us, and we had formed a sort 
of redoubt of earth, as a defense in case of attack, within 
which our ammunition, spare arms, provisions and per 
sonal effects were ensconced. One kept guard while 
the other slept. Our animals were placed in a line which 
could be swept by our fire, and the wagons so arranged 
as to furnish additional defense. In this unpleasant and 
inglorious manner several days passed, until the arrival 
of Col. E. A. Bigg, who was quite astonished at the facts 
brought to his knowledge and immediately imparted 
them to the commanding General, by whom I was or 
dered once more in the advance, and the major part of 
of my company reunited under my control. 

The grazing ground to which we resorted during our 
stay near the Maricopa villages had been the scene of a 
desperate conflict between that tribe and the Pimos, on 
one side, and the Yumas, Chimehuevis, and Amojaves, 
on the other. Victory rested with the Maricopas and 
Pimos, who slew over four hundred of the allied tribes, 
and so humiliated them that no effort has ever been 
made on their part to renew hostilities. This battle oc 
curred four years before our advent, and the ground was 
strewed with the skulls and bones of slaughtered war 
riors. Every day large numbers of the Maricopas visited 
my camp and were received with kindness, which they 
never failed to appreciate. On one occasion the head 
chief, Juan Chivari, and his Lieutenant, Palacio, paid 
me a visit, and almost immediately recognized me as the 
man who, ten years before, they had dubbed with the 
title of "Captain Killmooii," by reason of the part I 
took when Lieut. Whipple was observing an eclipse of 
the moon. I acknowledged the soft impeachment and 



LIFE AMONG THE APACHES. 149 

was received with every demonstration of regard and 
kindness. Messengers were dispatched to inform the 
Maricopa man and woman we had succored more than 
twelve years before; and, although they resided some ten 
miles distant, in another village, in less than four hours 
they were hugging and embracing me as if I were their 
warmest friend. This recognition and gratitude for the 
slight services rendered touched me nearly, especially 
when the priceless information they imparted at the time 
was probably the means of saving our lives. Every little 
gift within my possession was freely and gratefully con 
ferred upon these two deserving beings, savages though 
they were, who had married and were passing their 
peaceable lives together. 

One afternoon Palacio said to me: "You killed the 
moon once, and brought it to life again. That was good. 
You are a great medicine. You were then among us. 
You are here once more. I have told my young people 
of the affair; -but they will not believe, although hun 
dreds were witnesses. When can you kill the moon 
again, and prove the fact?" 

An almanac happened to be within reach, and I re 
ferred to it for the next lunar eclipse. To my great sur 
prise, it stated that a full eclipse of that luminary would 
take place two nights from that date. Preserving the 
greatest composure, I told Palacio that if he would 
bring his people to my camp two nights from that time, 
and wait till a certain hour, I would again kill the moon, 
and again restore her to life. This piece of news was 
extensively spread throughout all the villages; and next 
day my camp was thronged, from morning till night, 
with Maricopas and Piinos anxious to know if Palacio 
had reported correctly. They were answered in the 
affirmative, and sent away with very mixed sensations. 



150 LIFE AMONG THE APACHES. 

Before the time for slaughter arrived, I visited the 
grazing ground and selected seven finely polished skulls 
of Yumas, which I kept concealed in a sack. A quan 
tity of powder was then mixed and made into a paste, 
and so arranged as to compose fuses. A few iron filings 
were mixed with several of these fuses, and a number of 
carbine caps arranged in such a manner as to flash and 
snap when required. The skulls were placed in a circle, 
the center of which I was to occupy. In each one was 
a burning candle, the light from which shone through 
the eye sockets. In front of every skull was a small 
fuse, and from each fuse led a train of dry powder to 
the center of the ring. Back of the fuses were placed 
considerable charges of dry powder, which would ex 
plode so soon as the fuses burned to their locations, and 
which explosion would immediately extinguish the can 
dles, leaving all in darkness. The skulls were also at 
tached to each other by a fine but strong thread, and 
the thread to a small twine, which, when drawn in, would 
bring the whole affair in a pile, and allow of their secre 
tion. All my designs were confided to Loring, the Or 
derly Sergeant, and our plans laid. 

Long before the appointed time, (about ten o'clock 
p. M.) the camp was crowded by excited Pimos and Mar- 
icopas. Probably three thousand were present. - It was 
necessary to distract their attention from my movements, 
and I directed Sergeant Shearer to draw them off by 
some device from my immediate neighborhood. In this 
he succeeded admirably. No one was present to observe 
what I did. The skulls were properly arranged; the 
fuses, powder and caps laid, and candles lighted; and I 
took my place in the center, armed with a sabre, my 
head and right shoulder bare, and my gaze fixed on the 
moon, which was about to be obscured. The signal 



LIFE AMONG THE APACHES. 151 

was given, and Shearer led the excited crowds toward 
my position. "With great ceremony I drew a circle round 
the lighted skulls, and forbade the already frightened 
audience from passing that bound on pain of death. I 
sat in the center of the circle, with my head between my 
hands, waiting for time to pass until the eclipse should 
be complete, or nearly so. The silence and anxiety of 
that immense crowd of savages was something fearful. 
I was undertaking a dangerous experiment. If it failed, 
the consequences might be fatal; if it succeeded, my in 
fluence among them would be almost unbounded. Cir 
cumstanced as I was, the thing was worth trying. As an 
officer of my country, I felt the necessity of obtaining a 
moral as well as physical ascendancy of these populous 
tribes, which occupied the highway of immigration be 
tween the East and the West. I was almost alone among 
them, and they had begun to despise the paucity of my 
force. It had become necessary to re-assert our superi 
ority, and the adventitious circumstances before related 
favored my attempt. Crouched down, with a naked sa 
bre in my hand, gleaming with the lights thrown through 
the sightless sockets of the encircling skulls, I impa 
tiently waited the time to apply the match to my train. 
It came at last. The train was touched; the brilliant 
flame flashed with the speed of lightning and ignited the 
fuses, which fizzed and sputtered, and sent forth streams 
of bright sparks, lighting up the scene with somewhat of 
radiance, when suddenly the whole affair terminated in 
darkness. The change from intense light was so great 
that no one observed Shearer draw in and secrete the 
skulls, and when vision was restored the whole parapher 
nalia had passed away. In the meantime, the moon be 
gan to reappear; its disc became rapidly more observa 
ble and brilliant, until she again "O'er the dark her sil- 



152 LIFE AMONG THE APACHES. 

ver mantle threw " in all its splendor. The effect upon 
the surrounding Indians I can not pretend to describe; 
but the sobriquet of "Captain Killmoon" was unani 
mously adopted as a very proper appellation. About 
one o'clock A. M. the savages retired, and left us to the 
enjoyment of a hearty laugh and undisturbed repose. 

Two days afterward I had occasion to visit the head 
quarters of Col. Coult, and received his hospitality. 
That officer informed me that since our arrival the In 
dians had increased their prices for ground provisions, 
poultry, etc., five and six hundred per cent. Chickens, 
which had been a drug at a bit a piece, were then worth 
seventy-five cents. I told the Colonel that I could ob 
tain all I required at twenty-five cents each, and he com 
missioned me to purchase a dozen or more on his account. 
This statement of mine had been made off-hand, and 
without any deliberation. I had bought only three or 
four chickens, and had no right to determine the mar 
ket; but as the promise was given, it was my duty to ful 
fill it, even at expense to myself. Here, again, strategy 
came into play. "Captain Bob Shorty" was once more 
at his old tricks. 

I was the fortunate possessor of a powerful magnet 
and a fine pocket compass, and with these instruments I 
resolved to test the acumen of my savage friends. A 
strong burning glass aided me greatly, as it did on 
subsequent occasions, to obtain their implicit trust and 
confidence. Armed with these peaceable weapons, I in 
formed the Maricopas that chickens would find a ready 
market in my camp, and in a few hours several dozen 
were proffered. Determined upon paying only a fair 
price, I coolly commenced rolling a cigarito, at the same 
time giving one to a Maricopa, who went to the camp 
fire and got a light, with which he returned and prof- 



LIFE AMONG THE APACHES. 153 

fered me the civility of igniting my cigarito from his. 
This did not suit my purpose, and taking my burning 
glass, I said "Do you think that a 'Great Medicine* 
like me would light his cigar from common fire? No; I 
will draw it from heaven/' and, suiting the action to the 
words, I drew a focus in that glaring sun, which soon 
gave me the needed fire. This simple achievement filled 
them with unbounded astonishment, and prepared them 
for the reception of other miracles. Turning to a war 
rior who appeared a person of some consequence, I or 
dered him to produce his chickens, whereupon half a 
dozen of fair quality were offered for sale. I took them 
one by one in my hand, appeared to go through a most 
careful examination, and then suddenly turning to the 
man, inquired what he meant by trying to deceive me. 
The poor fellow was exceedingly mortified, and asked in 
what particular. The reply was, you have offered to sell 
me sick chickens, unfit for food, and are therefore at 
tempting an imposition. He stoutly denied the charge, 
insisting that the chickens were sound and well. We 
will soon test that, I answered, and then deposited my 
fine pocket compass on the ground, holding the magnet 
concealed in the hollow of my left hand. v The needle , 
soon ceased oscillating and settled down to its proper 
pointings, when the Indian was requested to turn the 
compass round, which he did, and, to his great wonder, 
the needle again resumed its normal situation. After 
several essays of this kind, he became convinced that the 
north pole would invariably point northward, no matter 
what changes were made in the position of the case. So 
soon as the required impression had been effected, they 
were told to lay their chickens, one after the other, either 
on the east or west side of the compass, and informed 
that if the birds were good and healthy no change would 
be observed in the instrument; but if not, the north pole 



154 LIFE AMONG THE APACHES. 

would point directly at the object and detect the impo 
sition. These injunctions were implicitly followed, and 
keeping the magnet in my left hand, with the index fin 
ger of the right, I approached the instrument, muttering 
several cabalistic words, and described a half circle close 
to and about the case. Of course, no movement fol 
lowed, and the chicken was accepted at the price asked. 
In this manner two or three were bought: but then came 
my turn. Changing the magnet into the hollow of my 
right hand, I again approached the compass, at the south 
pole, and instantly it commenced to circle round in obe 
dience to well known causes, and under full control of 
the magnet, until the north pole pointed exactly toward 
the doomed chicken. There! I exclaimed, in a tone of 
simulated indignation, did I not tell you that some of 
your chickens were sick and bad? Do you expect to 
cheat a " Great Medicine?" If you are not more honest 
for the future, you may possibly be visited by a malady, 
which will kill off all your fowls. 

By this time a large and anxious crowd had assembled 
to witness this new and extraordinary test, and any at 
tempt to describe their wonderment would be fruitless. 
Realizing the impression made, I then continued in the 
following strain : I do not believe that you meant to be 
bad, but rather give you credit for ignorance, and I only 
claim that all the sick chickens shall be forfeited to me, 
for I can cure them, and make them ultimately useful. 
This proposition was eagerly accepted, nem. con., and in^ 
this manner I secured six dozen of excellent birds at the 
rate of two bits each, while only twelve miles distant my 
brother officers were paying six bits each for inferior 
birds. The Indians, knowing us to be in their power 
for supplies of this kind, had raised the prices five hun 
dred per cent. , and I had turned the scales against them 
by a very simple process. 



CHAPTER XIII. 

Sent to the Front. Dreadful Storm at the San Pedro Eiver. Night Alarm. 
Apaches Gathering. Dragoon Springs. Capt. Thomas Roberts. Apache 
Pass. Bloody and Desperate Fight with Apaches. The Savages Whipped. 
Remarkable Infantry March. Heroism of John Teal. He wounds 
Mangas Colorado, and whips off Fifteen Apaches. Gallantry of Sergeant 
Mitchel and his Cavalry. Effect of Shelling the Apaches. Number of 
Indians Killed. Our Losses. Re-enter the Pass. Refused Permission to 
Charge. San Simon. 

IN consequence of the report made by Lieut. -Col. E. 
A. Riggj Gen. Carleton again ordered me in the advance, 
with Capt. Thomas Koberts, Co. E, First California In 
fantry. Arriving at the San Pedro river, it became 
necessary to learn whether Dragoon Springs, some twen 
ty-eight miles further on, could supply both companies, 
at a time, with water, or whether we would be obliged 
to break into detachments. Capt. Roberts took the ad 
vance with his infantry and three wagons, having also 
selected seven of my best mounted men to serve as scouts 
and couriers. I remained behind with fifteen of my cav 
alry and ten of Roberts' company, including the detach 
ment left as a garrison at the river, where a tolerable 
adobe building, erected by the Overland Mail Stage 
Company, afforded decent shelter, and a defensible po 
sition. 

The night after Roberts left was one of the most 
stormy I ever witnessed. The rain descended in floods. 
Earth and sky appeared thunder riven; blazing light 
nings leaped from the inky clouds, and absorbed the 
Cimmerian darkness with their blinding flashes. The San 



156 LIFE AMONG THE APACHES. 

Pedro roared and foamed, the animals quailed and bent 
before the storm, and all nature seemed convulsed. I 
was in charge of sixteen wagons with' their mules and 
precious freight, and my chief attention was elicited to 
secure their safety. Experience had taught me that the 
Apaches would select exactly such a time to make a bold 
attempt, and I doubled my sentries. Throwing myself 
on the earthen floor, in front of a decent fire, without 
removing my side arms or any portion of my clothing, I 
endeavored to obtain some repose. About two o'clock 
A. M., I was aroused by the Sergeant of the guard, who 
informed me that strange lights were visible coming 
down the hills on the west, north and south sides. A 
hasty survey showed me four lights, as of large burning 
brands, on three different sides of the compass, and ap 
parently approaching the station. I felt convinced from 
this open demonstration, that no attack was meditated, 
for, in that case, the greatest secrecy and caution would 
have been observed by the Apaches. Nevertheless, the 
garrison was summoned and disposed to the best advan 
tage. All fires were extinguished, and all lights shrouded 
from observation. In the course of a few minutes seven 
or eight more lights made their appearance, and seemed 
to be carried by persons walking at a rapid pace. Some 
of them approached within, what I considered, two hun 
dred yards of the station, and at one time I felt greatly 
inclined to try the effect of a chance shot from ray rifle, 
but gave up the idea from the conviction that no Apache 
would carry a torch within that distance, and maintain 
an erect position, while my fire might expose the persons 
of my men and draw a more effective return. After an 
hour and a half of anxious watch, the lights gradually 
united and faded away toward the east. 

It was not until more than a year had elapsed that I 



LIFE AMONG THE APACHES. 157 

learned the meaning of this occurrence. A celebrated 
leading man of the Mescalero Apaches, named Gian-nah- 
tah, or " Always Ready," gave the desired information, 
which precisely tallied with succeeding events. He said 
that, as the Apaches are a dispersed and perpetually 
wandering race, it is impossible for one detachment to 
know where others might be at any time; but that when 
a great body of them was needed for any joint under 
taking they made smoke signals of a certain character 
by day, and signals of fire by night. That, on the occa 
sion of which I write, the nature of the country prohibited 
fire signals from being seen except from very short dis 
tances, and runners were hurried through the district, 
bearing torches, which would indicate that the aid of all 
within sight was required. In fine, it was the "speed, 
Malise, speed," of the Apache. This explanation will 
account for what followed. 

Between three and four o'clock A. M., just after the 
lights had disappeared, the sound of horses advancing 
at a fast gallop was heard approaching the station. The 
sentinel challenged, and was immediately answered with 
the round Saxon response, "Friends." It proved to be 
two of my own company, who had been sent back by 
Capt. Roberts with the information that there was abund 
ance of water at Dragoon Springs, and instruction to join 
him with the train without delay. The poor fellows had 
ridden twenty-eight miles through that terrible storm, 
and in the heart of a country swarming with hostile and 
ever vigilant savages. Two days subsequently they had 
a splendid opportunity to test their gallantry, and most 
nobly did they respond to the appeal. In obedience to 
order, we set forward before daylight to join Captain 
Roberts, and reached Dragoon Springs, without inci 
dent, at three o'clock p. M. A long and fatiguing march 



158 LIFE AMONG THE APACHES. 

of forty miles had to be made before reaching Apache 
Pass, where the next water was to be had, and as we 
were in doubt as to the quantity, it was again agreed 
that I should remain at Dragoon Springs until next 
morning, while Capt. Koberts was to push ahead with 
his infantry and seven of my company, leaving the train 
under my charge. At half-past five o'clock P. M. he set 
out, and the strictest vigilance was maintained in camp 
the whole night. By daylight next morning we were 
again in the saddle, and the train duly straightened out 
for the long and dreary march. Had we not been en 
cumbered with wagons my cavalry could have made the 
distance easily in seven hours; but we were compelled 
to keep pace with those indispensable transports of food, 
ammunition, clothing and medicine. A little before dark 
we arrived at Ewell's Station, fifteen miles west of the 
pass, and I determined to park the train, as the mules 
had almost given out, and were quite unable to accom 
plish the remainder of the march without some rest. 
Just as I had come to this conclusion we perceived sev 
eral riders coming toward us with all speed, and they 
soon proved to be the detachment of my company which 
had been detailed to act with Capt. Eoberts. Two of 
them were mounted behind two others, and all had evi 
dently ridden hard. Sergeant Mitchell approached, and 
saluting, said: "Capt. Roberts has been attacked in 
Apache Pass by a very large body of Indians. We 
fought them for six hours, and finally compelled them 
to run. Capt. Eoberts then directed us to come back 
through the pass, and report to you with orders to park 
the train and take every precaution for its safety. He 
will join you to-night. On leaving the pass we were 
pursued by over fifty well armed and mounted Apaches, 
and we lost three horses, killed under us, and that one 



LIFE AMONG THE APACHES. 159 

pointing to a splendid gray is mortally wounded. Ser 
geant Maynard, now present, has his right arm fractured 
at the elbow, with a rifle ball, and John Teal we believe 
to be killed, as we saw him cut off by a band of fifteen 
or twenty savages, while we were unable to render him 
any assistance." 

The wagons were ordered to be parked; every man 
was supplied with ammunition and posted to the best 
advantage; proper attention was paid to my wounded 
sergeant, and the camp arranged in such a manner as to 
insure a warm reception to a large body of savages. We 
remained on the qui vive until one o'clock A. M., when to 
my extreme surprise and sincere gratification we were 
joined by John Teal, who was supposed to have been 
killed. He brought with him his saddle, blanket, sabre 
and pistols, having lost his horse and spurs. His narra 
tive is so full of interest, and so well illustrates a phase 
in Apache character, that it is worth recording. 

"Soon after we left the pass," said he, "we opened 
upon a sort of hollow plain or vale, about a mile wide, 
across which we dashed with speed. I was about two 
hundred yards in the rear, and presently a body of about 
fifteen Indians got between me and my companions. I 
turned my horse's head southward and coursed along the 
plain, lengthwise, in the hope of outrunning them, but 
my horse had been too sorely tested, and could not get 
away. They came up and commenced firing, one ball 
passing through the body of my horse, just forward of 
his hind quarters. It was then about dark, and I imme 
diately dismounted, determined to fight it out to the bit 
ter end. My horse fell, and as I approached him, he 
began to lick my hands. I then swore to kill at least 
one Apache. Lying down behind the body of my dying 
animal, I opened fire upon them with my carbine, which 



160 LIFE AMONG THE APACHES. 

being a breech-loader, enabled me to keep up a lively 
fusillade. This repeated fire seemed to confuse the sav 
ages, and instead of advancing with a rush, they com 
menced to circle round me, firing occasional shots in my 
direction. They knew that I also had a six-shooter and 
a sabre, and seemed unwilling to try close quarters. In 
this way the fight continued for over an hour, when I 
got a good chance at a prominent Indian and slipped a 
carbine ball into his breast. He must have been a man 
of some note, because soon after that they seemed to get 
away from me, and I could hear their voices growing 
fainter in the distance. I thought this a good time to 
make tracks, and divesting myself of my spurs, I took 
the saddle, bridle and blanket from my dead horse and 
started for camp. I have walked eight miles since then/' 

It is needless to add how gratified I was to receive this 
brave and loyal soldier again, and find him free from 
wound or scar. We subsequently ascertained that the 
man he shot was no less an individual than the celebrated 
Mangas Colorado, but, I regret to .add, the rascal sur 
vived his wound to cause us more trouble. 

About an hour after Teal had come in, I was joined 
by Capt. Koberts with thirty men, and then got a full 
description of the fight. I omitted to mention that two 
twelve-pounder mountain howitzers were with our little 
force, and to these guns the victory is probably attrib 
utable. It seems that about one hundred and thirty or 
forty miners had located themselves at the Pino Alto 
gold mines, or the same mines mentioned in a former 
portion of this work as the scene where Mr. Hay and his 
family were attacked and their cattle stolen by the 
Apaches, and also where Delgadito got badly scored by 
Wells. This was the great stronghold of Mangas and 
his band, and finding himself unable to dislodge the un- 



LIFE AMONG THE APACHES. 161 

welcome intruders without help, he had dispatched mes 
sengers to Cheis, the principal warrior of the Chiricahui 
Apaches, to assist him in expelling the miners. Cheis 
was too much occupied by the advancing column of 
American troops to give heed to this call, and failed to 
attend. Such want of faith was inexplicable to Mangas, 
who knew nothing of our approach, and at the head of 
two hundred warriors he visited Cheis, to inquire the 
reason for his apparent defection from the Apache cause. 
In reply Cheis took Mangas to the top of the Chiricahui 
and showed him the dust made by our advance guard, 
and told him that it was his first duty to defend himself, 
and that if Mangas would join in the affair, they could 
whip the "white eyes," and make themselves masters of 
the spoil. This arrangement was immediately agreed to 
by Mangas, and their united forces, amounting to nearly 
seven hundred warriors, so disposed as to take Roberts 
by surprise and insure his defeat. But "the best laid 
plans of men and mice, aft gang aglee," and these finely 
fixed schemes were doomed to be terribly overthrown. 

Roberts, entirely unsuspecting any attack, entered the 
pass with the ordinary precautions. He had penetrated 
two-thirds of the way, when from both sides of that 
battlemented gorge a fearful rain of fire and lead was 
poured upon his troops, within a range of from thirty 
to eighty yards. On either hand the rocks afforded nat 
ural and almost unassailable defenses. Every tree con 
cealed an armed warrior, and each warrior boasted his 
rifle, six-shooter and knife. A better armed host could 
scarcely be imagined. From behind every species of 
shelter came the angry and hissing missiles, and not a 
soul to be seen. Quickly, vigorously, and bravely did 
his men respond, but to what effect? They were ex 
pending ammunition to no purpose; their foes were in- 



162 LIFE AMONG THE APACHES. 

visible; there was no way to escalade those impregnable 
natural fortresses; the howitzers were useless, and the 
men doubtful how to attack the foe. In such strait, 
Roberts determined to fall back, reform and renew the 
contest. The orders were given and obeyed with per 
fect discipline. Beaching the entrance to the pass the 
troops were reorganized, skirmishers were thrown out 
over the hills so as to command the road; the howitzers 
were loaded, and belched forth their shells whenever 
found necessary. In this manner the troops again 
marched forward. Water was indispensable for the con 
tinuance of life. Unless they could reach the springs 
they must perish. A march of forty miles under an 
Arizonian sun, and over wide alkaline plains, with their 
blinding dust and thirst-provoking effects, had already 
been effected, and it would be impossible to march back 
again without serious loss of life, and untold suffering, 
without taking into account the seeming disgrace of 
being defeated by seven times their force of Apaches. 
What would it avail those brave men to know that the 
Indians were as well armed as they; that they possessed 
all the advantages; that they outnumbered them seven 
to one, when the outside and carping world would be so 
ready to taunt them with defeat, and adduce so many 
specious reasons why they should have annihilated the 
savages ? 

Forward, steadily forward, under a continuous and 
galling fire, did those gallant companies advance until 
they reached the old station house in the pass, about six 
hundred yards from the springs. The house was built of 
stone, and afforded ample shelter; but still they had no 
water, and eighteen hours, with a march of forty miles, 
including six hours of sharp fighting, had been passed 
without a drop. Men and officers were faint, worn-out 



LIFE AMONG THE APACHES. 163 

with fatigue, want of sleep, and intense privation and 
excitement; still Roberts urged them on, and led the 
way. His person was always the most exposed; his 
voice ever cheering and encouraging. Immediately com 
manding the springs are two hills, both high and diffi 
cult of ascent. One is to the east, and the other over 
looks them from the south. On these heights the Apaches 
had built rude but efficient breastworks by piling rocks 
one upon the other so as to form crenelle holes between 
the interstices. From these fortifications they kept up a 
rapid and scathing fire, which could not be returned 
with effect by musketry from three to four hundred feet 
below. The howitzers were got into position, but one 
of them was so badly managed that the gunners were 
brought immediately under the fire from the hills with 
out being able to make even a decent response. In a 
few moments it was overturned by some unaccountable 
piece of stupidity, and the artillerists driven off by the 
sharp fire of the savages. At that juncture, Sergeant 
Mitchell with his six associates of my company, made a 
rush to bring off the howitzer and place it in a better 
position. Upon reaching the guns, they determined not 
to turn it down hill, but up, so as to keep their fronts to 
the fire. While performing this gallant act, they were 
assailed with a storm of balls, but escaped untouched; 
after having righted the gun, brought it away, and 
placed it in a position best calculated to perform effect 
ive service. So soon as this feat had been happily ac 
complished, the exact range was obtained and shell after 
shell hurled upon the hills, bursting just when they 
should. The Apaches, wholly unused to such formida 
ble engines, precipitately abandoned their rock works 
and fled in all directions. It was nearly night. To re 
main under those death-dealing heights during the night, 



164 LIFE AMONG THE APACHES. 

when camp-fires would afford trie enemy the best kind 
of advantage, was not true policy, and Capt. Roberts 
ordered each man to take a drink from the precious and 
hardly-earned springs, and fill his canteen, after which 
the troops retired within the shelter afforded by the 
stone station house, the proper guards and pickets being 
posted. 

In this fight Roberts had two men killed and three 
wounded, and I afterwards learned from a prominent 
Apache who Was present in the engagement, that sixty- 
three warriors were killed outright by the shells, while 
only three perished from musketry fire. He added 
:< We would have done well enough if you had not fired 
wagons at us." The howitzers being on wheels, were 
deemed a species of wagon by the Apaches, wholly in 
experienced in that sort of warfare. 

Capt. Roberts suffered his men to recruit their wasted 
energies with supper, and then taking one-half his com 
pany, the remainder being left under command of Lieut. 
Thompson, marched back to Swell's Station, fifteen 
miles, to assure the safety of the train under my com 
mand, and escort it through the pass. As before stated, 
he reached my camp a little after two o'clock A.M., where 
the men rested until five, when the march toward the 
pass was resumed. Several alarms were given before 
his arrival, and we heard the Apaches careering around 
us; but they made no attack, and kept out of sight. At 
five o'clock A.M., the train was straightened out with 
half my effective cavalry force three hundred yards in 
the advance, and the other half about as far in the rear, 
while the wagons were flanked on either side by the in 
fantry. In this order we entered that most formidable 
of gorges, when the bugles blew a halt. A considerable 
body of the infantry were then thrown out on either side 



LIFE AMONG THE APACHES. 165 

as skirmishers, with a small reserve as the rallying point, 
while the cavalry were ordered to guard the train, and 
make occasional dashes into the side canons. " Up hill 
and down dale" went the skirmishers, plunging into 
dark and forbidding denies, and climbing steep, rocky 
and difficult acclivities, while the cavalry made frequent 
sorties from the main body to the distance of several 
hundred yards. Being without a subaltern, Gen. Carle- 
ton had assigned Lieut. Muller, of the First Cavalry 
California Volunteers, to service with my command. 
This officer soon after gave sufficient proof of his gal 
lantry and zeal, for which I now gratefully return thanks. 

In this manner we progressed through that great 
stronghold of the Apaches and dangerous defile, until 
we joined the detachment under Lieut. Thompson, at 
the stone station house, where we quartered for the re 
mainder of that day. Let it be borne in mind that Capt. 
Roberts' company of Californian Infantry had marched 
forty miles without food or water, had fought for six 
hours with desperation against six times their numbers 
of splendidly armed Apaches, ensconced behind their 
own natural ramparts, and with every possible advantage 
in their favor; had driven that force before them, occu 
pied their defiles, taken their strongholds, and, after 
only one draught of water and a hasty meal, had made 
another march of thirty miles, almost absolutely with 
out rest. I doubt much if any record exists to show 
where infantry have made a march of seventy miles, 
fought one terrible battle of six hours' duration, and 
achieved a decided victory under such circumstances. 

The shrill fife, the rattling drum and the mellow bu 
gles sounded the reveille before dawn of the next day. 
The camp-fires were soon throwing up their lively jets 
of flame and smoke, while the grateful odors of frying 
8* 



166 LIFE AMONG THE APACHES. 

bacon and browning flap-jacks saluted the appreciative 
nostrils of the hungry troops. But we had no water, 
and without water we could have no coffee, that most 
coveted of all rations. There was reason to believe that 
the Apaches intended to put our metal to another trial. 
They had again occupied the heights above the springs, 
and also the water sources, which were thickly sheltered 
by trees and willow underbrush. Roberts again made 
preparations to dislodge the savages, and ordered his 
howitzers into the most favorable positions. Just then 
I saluted him, and said, " Captain, you have done your 
share of this fight; I now respectfully ask for my chance. 
If you will throw your shells on the heights above the 
springs, I will charge the latter with my men, and clean 
out the Apaches in a very few moments. I certainly 
think this concession due me." 

Roberts reflected a few moments, and replied " I am 
truly sorry that your wish cannot be granted. Yours is 
the only cavalry I have, and their safety is indispensable 
to ours. We are going to the San Simon river, where I 
am ordered to establish a depot and await the arrival of 
other troops with supplies. You are to take back this 
train for those supplies, and you will have enough to do 
in your proper turn. I cannot, under the circumstances, 
grant your request/ 3 

To this I replied: "Your objections appear cogent; 
but I cannot perceive why all these things cannot be ac 
complished, and still permit my men, who are burning 
with anxiety, to charge those springs and disperse that 
wretched horde of savages. They are already cowed, 
and will immediately flee before a vigorous assault." 

Capt. Roberts replied: "You have had my answer, 
Captain, and it should be enough. I do not intend to 
jeopard my own meri, but will shell the heights and 



LIFE AMONG THE APACHES. 167 

springs, and effect a bloodless victory, in so far as we 
are concerned/' 

After this rebuff I could make no further personal ap 
peal, but instructed Lieut. Muller to beseech Capt. Kob- 
erts, and, if possible, induce him to change his mind. 
Muller argued for half an hour, until Koberts told him 
either to obey or be placed under arrest. This ended 
the colloquy. The howitzers then opened fire the shells 
burst splendidly; large numbers of Apaches were ob 
served to decamp from the heights in the most hurried 
manner; the springs also underwent a similar cleaning, 
and in less than twenty minutes the troops were permit 
ted to advance and fill their canteens, while my cavalry, 
without waiting further orders, made a rush after the 
retreating savages until the rapid rise and terribly broken 
nature of the ground checked their career. The hill 
sides were covered with fleeing Apaches, who seemed 
imbued with supernatural powers of locomotion. Up 
wards they sped with the celerity of Alpine goats, until 
they disappeared behind the crests of tall mountains and 
rugged hills. In peace and quiet we partook of the 
precious fountain. Our horses and mules, which had 
not tasted water for forty-eight hours, and were nearly 
famished from so dusty a road and so long a journey 
under the hottest of suns, drank as if they would never 
be satisfied. An hour later we moved through the pass, 
entered upon the wide plain which separates it from the 
San Simon river, and reached our camp on that creek, 
without further trouble, about four o'clock p. M. 



CHAPTEK XIV. 

Return from the San Simon. Avoid Apache Pass. Reasons for so Doing. Night 
Marching. Apaches show Themselves. Rattlesnakes. Ojo de los Her- 
manos. San Pedro Again. Return through Apache Pass. Meet thirteen 
Dead Americans. Mangas Colorado's Deceit. How the Americans were 
Killed. Apache Cunning and Calculation. Bury the Dead. How Mangas 
was Cured of his Wound. Death of Mangas Colorado. The Genius and 
Abilities of Mangas. Apache Democracy. Extent of the Ravages of 
Mangas Colorado. 

BUT short breathing space was afforded me at the San 
Simon. On the morning of the third day after our ar 
rival, and the trying tests to which we had been sub 
jected, I received orders from Capt. Roberts to escort 
the train of twenty-six wagons back to the San Pedro, 
in order to furnish the required transportation for the 
provision, ammunition, clothing and other supplies of 
the column. For this duty I was assigned fourteen of 
my troopers, and seven men of Roberts' company. The 
intervening country had been well examined through 
fine field glasses, and on two occasions a thorough re- 
connissance had been made by the cavalry, which showed 
that a very excellent passage existed to the north of the 
Chiricahui range, over nearly a level plain, and that the 
distance would be only some seven miles longer. This 
route, with the approbation of Capt. Roberts, was at 
once selected for our return, and for the following rea 
sons : The safety of our train was of the very first import 
ance, as upon it depended the success of the unprece 
dented march the " Column from California" was then 
attempting. In the next place, if the Apaches had given 



LIFE AMONG THE APACHES. 169 

us such a strong and determined fight when we mustered 
one hundred and twenty-nine men and two mountain 
howitzers, what great chance would I have of safely con 
ducting a train of twenty-six wagons with only twenty- 
one men, and without artillery, through such a terrific 
stronghold? In the third place, nature provided a pas 
sage nearly as short, much less laborious for men and an 
imals, well supplied with water, wood and grass, and by 
its open character, affording the very best field for the 
operations of cavalry, and the widest range for our 
splendid breech-loading weapons of long reach. It was 
not a question whether we should again fight the Indians, 
but whether we could forward the main object of the 
expedition. Indeed, strict orders had been given to re 
frain from Indian broils as much as possible, to suffer 
some wrong rather than divert our time and attention 
from the great purpose contemplated, which was to lib 
erate Arizona from Confederate rule and effect a junction 
with Gen. Canby as soon as possible. Had we been 
exclusively on an Indian campaign, other means would 
have been adopted. 

Having taken a final survey, I started in the evening 
just after sundown, to prevent the Apaches from seeing 
the dust raised by the column, and directed our course 
over the open plain, north of the Chiricahui range, and 
between it and the mountains from which it is divided 
some four miles by an open and elevated piece of clear 
land, without trees or rocks, and thickly covered with 
the finest grama grass. We traveled all night with the 
cavalry covering the front and rear, and the seven infan 
trymen sleeping in the empty wagons, with their weap 
ons loaded and ready at a moment's warning. Every 
little while the cavalry were required to patrol the length 
of the column, to ward off any sudden and unforeseen 



170 LIFE AMONG THE APACHES. 

attack. The infantry were allowed to sleep, in order 
that they might be fresh to keep guard throughout the 
day. In this manner we progressed until five A. M., next 
day, when I ordered a halt, had the wagons handsomely 
corralled nearly in a circle, with the animals and men all 
inside, except the guard, and the camp properly pre 
pared against surprise. We were then exactly north of 
the Chiricahui mountains, and south of another range, 
each being about two miles distant. I could distinctly 
see large numbers of Apaches riding furiously up and 
down the steeps of those heights, and sometimes advanc 
ing on the plain, as if to attack. But experience had 
taught them that our carbines and Minnie rifles were 
deadly at nearly a mile of distance, and they did not ap 
proach within their reach. Our horses were tied to the 
picket rope which extended across the open end of the 
corral, and covered by a sufficient guard. Finding that 
the Apaches did not care to make an onslaught, the cav 
alry and teamsters, all of whom were well armed, re 
tired to rest, after partaking of a hearty meal. Next 
evening, at dark, we again hitched up and pursued our 
journey as before. I was in the. advance with Sergeant 
Loring, when our horses suddenly jumped one side and 
our ears were greeted by the spiteful warning of a rattle 
snake, coiled up directly in our path. To avoid this ma 
lignant reptile the train diverged about twenty yards 
from the road, and after a little while entered it again. 
This sort of thing occurred many times during the night, 
until we again struck the regular highway nearly due 
west of Apache Pass. Our next halt was made six miles 
from Swell's Station, and we had come seventy miles in 
two nights. That day we saw no Indians, although the 
same precautions were adopted as if we were surrounded 
by large numbers. Our next march was to the Ojo de 



LIFE AMONG THE APACHES. 171 

los Hermanos, or the ' ' Brothers' Springs," so as to avoid 
stopping to water at Dragoon Springs, which were two 
miles up a deep and dangerous canon, where the enemy 
would possess every possible advantage, and where the 
animals would have to be led to water a mile or more 
from the wagons, with the delightful prospect of not 
finding anything like a sufficiency. 

In due course of time, we regained the San Pedro 
river, where Gen. Carleton had arrived with a consider 
able body of troops. I turned over my train, and was 
ordered to advance once more with head-quarters. 
Apache Pass was again entered and traversed; but it 
seemed as if no Indian had ever awakened its echoes 
with his war-whoop as if it had ever been the abode of 
peace and silence. I rode beside Dr. McNulty for a 
while, and described to him the terrible conflict which 
had taken place there only eight days previous. That 
true soldier and soldiers' friend frequently exclaimed 
"By George, I wish I had been here!" "What splendid 
natural breastworks are these, old fellow!" a peculiar 
expression of his "I am glad you came out of it all 
right!" Next day we emerged from the pass without 
molestation, or seeing an Indian sign; but, instead of 
directing our course toward the San Simon, diverged by 
another route toward the Cienega, a flat, marshy place, 
at the foot of the next easterly range of mountains, of 
which Stein's Peak is the most prominent. The San 
Simon creek, as it is called, sinks about a mile south of 
the station bearing that name, and undoubtedly fur 
nishes the supply of water which is to be had at the 
Cienega, located on the same plain, and about eight 
miles south of the spot where the creek disappears. 

"We had progressed about two miles beyond the pass, 
when we suddenly came upon the bodies of thirteen 



172 LIFE AMONG THE APACHES. 

persons, pierced in many places with bullet and arrow 
holes, and some with the arrows still sticking, driven 
deeply into their frames. After some examination, the 
verdict was that they were the bodies of white men killed 
by the Apaches but a short time before. This conclu 
sion proved correct, as was afterward ascertained beyond 
all doubt, and as their destruction was compassed by a 
trick peculiarly illustrative of Apache character, I will 
relate it in extenso. 

My readers will bear in mind the place described as 
Santa Rita del Cobre, where the Boundary Commission 
remained for several months, where Inez G-onzales and 
the two Mexican boys were rescued from captivity, where 
Delgadito made his attack upon Mr. Hay, and where he 
got handsomely seamed by Wells. The gold mines 
worked by Mr. Hay at that period, twelve years prior, had 
proved to be very rich, and attracted many bold adven 
turers, among whom were a number of celebrated Indian 
fighters, who had passed years upon our frontiers, and 
were universally dreaded by all the wild Indian tribes of 
Arizona and New Mexico. In a short time the mining 
population at that point amounted to something like two 
hundred, of whom one hundred and fifty were well 
armed, fearless and experienced men. The presence of 
such a party was far from pleasing to Mangas Colorado 
and his band, as they claimed exclusive proprietorship 
to that whole region, which was their main fastness. 
They also regarded the miners as the legitimate succes 
sors of the Boundary Commission, with whom they had. 
parted in deadly enmity after a short season of simulated 
friendship. Mangas made many skillful efforts to dis 
lodge the miners, and divert their attention from the 
Copper Mines, but without effect. He privately visited 
some of the more prominent among them, and profess- 



LIFE AMONG THE APACHES. 173 

ing the most disinterested friendship, offered to show 
them where gold was far more abundant and could be 
obtained with less labor, accompanying his promises 
with something like the following style of inducement : 

"You good man. You stay here long time and never 
hurt Apache. You want the 'yellow iron;' I know where 
plenty is. Suppose you go with me, I show you; but 
tell no one else. Mangas your friend, he want to do you 
good. You like 'yellow iron' good! Me no want 
' yellow iron/ Him no good for me can no eat, can no 
drink, can no keepee out cold. Come, I show you." 

For a while each person so approached kept this offer 
to himself, but after a time they "began to compare notes, 
and found that Mangas had made like promises to each, 
under the ban of secrecy and the pretense of exclusive 
personal friendship. * Those who at first believed the old 
rascal, at once comprehended that it was a trap set to 
separate and sacrifice the bolder and leading men by 
gaining their confidence and killing them in detail, while 
their fates would remain unknown to those left behind. 
The next time, after this eclair cissement, that Mangas 
visited that camp, he was tied to a tree and administered 
a dose of "strap oil," well applied by lusty arms. His 
vengeance was more keenly aroused by this deserved 
treatment, and from that time forth every sort of annoy 
ance was put into operation against the miners. They 
were shot at from the cover of trees and rocks, their cat 
tle and horses were driven off, their supply trains robbed 
and destroyed, and themselves reduced to want. But 
Mangas desired their utter extirpation. He wanted their 
blood; he was anxious for their annihilation, and feeling 
himself unable to cope with them single handed, he 
dispatched emissaries to Cheis, the most famed warrior 
of the Chiricahui tribe, to come and help him oust the 
Americans. 



174 LIFE AMONG THE APACHES. 

Just at that time news was received by Clieis that the 
Americans were advancing from the west, and were 
about to overrun Ipis country. "Charity begins at 
home/' was the motto of that prominent Apache, and, 
instead of going to the relief of Mangas, notified him of 
the newly threatened invasion, and asked his assistance, 
promising to help Mangas, in his turn. The proffer was 
accepted, and Mangas joined Cheis at the Apache Pass 
with two hundred warriors, which accounts for the 
large force against which Koberts had to contend in that 
formidable gorge. 

While these united forces were occupying Apache 
Pass, waiting our arrival, they descried a small band of 
Americans approaching from the east, across the wide 
plain intervening between that place and the Cienega, 
and determined to cut it off. Those wily Indians soon 
recognized in the new-comers a small, but well armed, 
party of the hardy and experienced miners from the 
Santa Rita del Cobre, and knew that such men were al 
ways on their guard and prepared to defend their lives 
with the greatest courage and determination. They also 
knew that they would be specially on the qui vive after 
having entered the pass, and that any attack upon them 
would probably result in the loss of several of their war 
riors. How to compass their ends and obviate this last 
possibility, became the chief objects of their attention. 
Two miles east of the pass, right in the clear and unob 
structed plain, there is a gully, formed by the washing 
of heavy rains through a porous and yielding soil. This 
gully is from six to eight feet deep, a quarter of a mile 
long, three or four yards wide, and cannot be seen from 
horseback until the rider is within fifty yards of the spot. 
"With consummate cunning a large body of the Apaches 
ensconced themselves in this gully, knowing that the 



LIFE AMONG THE APACHES. 175 

travelers would be somewhat off their guard in an open 
plain, apparently without place of concealment, and 
awaited the approach of their victims. The scheme 
proved eminently successful. Wholly unapprehensive 
of a danger they could not see and had no reason to sus 
pect, "the hardy miners rode forward with their rifles 
resting in the slings across their saddle bows, their pis 
tols in scabbards, and their whole attention absorbed in 
the pass they were about to enter. "When they had ar 
rived within forty yards of the gully or ditch, a terrific 
and simultaneous fire was opened upon them by the con 
cealed Indians, which killed one-half their number out 
right, and sent the remainder wounded and panic 
stricken to seek safety in flight. They were immediately 
pursued and massacred to a man. Theirs were the 
bodies discovered by us soon after emerging from Apache 
Pass, and although we grieved over their death, as brave 
men grieve for each other, the circumstance taught us 
another and most instructive lesson in Apache character, 
and the wondrously shrewd calculations made by those 
people when determined to effect a desired object. 

I subsequently learned that the victims had with them 
a considerable sum in gold dust, nearly fifty thousand 
dollars' worth, all of which fell into the hands of their 
slayers, who had become well acquainted with its value. 
Their bodies were as decently interred as circumstances 
would permit, after which we moved forward toward the 
Cienega, in mournful and somewhat vindictive mood. 

Mangas Colorado returned with his diminished band 
to the Pino Alto country after his disastrous defeat in 
Apache Pass, but he returned with a carbine ball in his 
chest, fired by John Teal, whose gallant conduct has al 
ready been described. It was owing to this chance shot 
that the Apaches abandoned their attack upon Teal, in 



176 LIFE AMONG THE APACHES. 

order to give succor to so prominent a man as Mangas. 
He was carefully conveyed to Janos, in Chihuahua, where 
he received the enforced attendance and aid of a Mexican 
physician, who happened to be in that place at the time. 
It was a case of the practice of surgery under unique 
circumstances. If the patient survived, well and good; 
he would return to his native wilds to again renew his 
fearful devastations; but if he died, the doctor and all 
the inhabitants were assured they should visit the spirit 
land with him. The ball was extracted, Mangas recov 
ered, an'd the people were saved; but his was a short 
lease of life, for he was soon afterward captured by Capt. 
E. D. Shirland, of the First California Volunteer Cav 
alry, and killed while attempting to effect his escape 
from the guard house. In this manner perished Mangas 
Colorado, the greatest and most talented Apache Indian 
of the nineteenth century. In truth, he was a wonder 
ful man. His sagacious counsels partook more of the 
character of wide and enlarged statesmanship than those 
of any other Indian of modern times. His subtle and 
comprehensive intellect enrolled and united the three 
principal tribes of Arizona and New Mexico in one com 
mon cause. He found means to collect and keep to 
gether, for weeks at a time, large bodies of savages, such 
as none of, his predecessors could assemble and feed. 
He quieted and allayed all jealousies and disagreements 
between different branches of the great Apache family, 
and taught them to comprehend the value of unity and 
collective strength. Although never remarkable for per 
sonal prowess and courage, he knew how to evoke those 
qualities in others, and appropriate the credit to himself. 
Crafty and skilled in human nature, he laid plans and 
devised schemes remarkable for their shrewdness of con 
ception and success in execution. In council he was the 



LIFE AMONG THE APACHES. 177 

last to speak, in action lie was the last to come on the 
field, and the first to leave if defeated; yet he had the 
reputation among all his people of being the wisest and 
bravest. That he was the wisest has never been denied; 
that he was the bravest has never been proved. But, 
take him for all in all, he exercised an influence never 
equaled by any savage of our time, when we take into 
consideration the fact that the Apaches acknowledge no 
chiefs, and obey no orders from any source. They con 
stitute a pure democracy, in which every man is the 
equal of every other. Each is sovereign inliis own right 
as a warrior, and disclaims all allegiance. But this sub 
ject will be treated at length in another portion of this 
work. 

The life of Mangas Colorado, if it could be ascertained, 
would be a tissue of the most extensive and afflicting 
revelationSj the most atrocious cruelties, the most vin 
dictive revenges, and widespread injuries ever perpetra 
ted by an American Indian. "We read with sensations 
of horror the dreadful massacre at Schenectady, the 
bloody deeds at Wyoming, the cruelties of Proctor's 
savage allies, and others of like character; but they sink 
into absolute insignificance beside the acts of Mangas 
Colorado, running through a series of fifty years, for 
Mangas was fully seventy when sent to his last account. 
The northern portions of Chihuahua and Sonora, large 
tracts of Durango, the whole of Arizona, and a very con 
siderable part of New Mexico, were laid waste, ravished, 
destroyed by this man and his followers. A strip of 
country twice as large as all California was rendered al 
most houseless, unproductive, uninhabitable by his active 
and uncompromising hostility. Large and flourishing 
towns were depopulated and ruined. Vast ranches, such 
as that of Barbacomori and San Bernardino, once teem- 



178 LIFE AMONG THE APACHES. 

ing with wealth and immense herds of cattle, horses and 
mules, were turned into waste places, and restored to 
their pristine solitudes. The name of Mangas Colorado 
was the tocsin of terror and dismay throughout a vast 
region of country, whose inhabitants existed by his suf 
ferance under penalty of supplying him with the requisite 
arms and ammunition for his many and terrible raids. 
He combined many attributes of real greatness with the 
ferocity and brutality of the most savage savage. The 
names of his victims, by actual slaughter or by captivity, 
would fill a volume, and the relation of his deeds through 
out a long and merciless life would put to shame the 
records of the "Newgate Calendar." I dismiss him 
with disgust and loathing, not unmingled with some 
degree of respect for his abilities. 



CHAPTER XY. 



Apache Signals. Mode of Marching through Arizona and New Mexico. Apache 
Watchfulness and Caution. The Gila Country. Grama Grass. The In. 
formation Indispensable for a Successful Campaign against Apaches. 
The Smoke Columns. Pressed Grass. Bent and Broken Twigs. Blazed 
Trees. Mounted Parties. The Stone Signals. Kit Carson. Comparison 
between White Men's and Apache Philosophy. The Present Condition of 
Apache Armament. Their Knowledge of Colors, and the Use they make 
of It. Their Hatred of all Other Races. Proofs of their Good Breeding. 
Our Indian Policy Discussed. Apache Want of Sympathy. How they 
Obtain their Guns and Ammunition. Extent of their Ravages in North 
ern Mexico. Monuments of Apache Massacres in Arizona. Mines of 
Arizona. 



THE experiences of several years liad not been ignored. 
The time which had elapsed between my first and second 
appearance upon the stage of Indian action had given 
me opportunity to reflect upon many events, and study 
their causes, characters, and mechanism of production. 
Keposing in the midst of civilized security, and alto 
gether freed from the excitement of unseen, deadly perils 
to which life m the Apache countries is invariably sub 
ject, I was enabled to draw more correct conclusions 
than could have been arrived at on the ground, while 
compelled to regard personal safety as the first necessity. 
In this calm and undisturbed survey of the field many 
circumstances were accounted for which at the time ap 
peared more the result of untoward accident than of 
well laid schemes founded upon a shrewd knowledge of 
natural instincts. The pyramidal columns of smoke, so 
often seen to ascend from mountain heights, had ap 
peared to me as merely warnings of our presence in the 



180 LIFE AMONG THE APACHES. 

country; the apparently casual turning over of a stone, 
close to the highway, never attracted attention; the 
breaking of a few insignificant branches in a forest 
did not seem to be more than accidental occurrences; 
bat closer investigation led me to believe that all these 
things, and many more, had their peculiar significance; 
that they were neither more nor less than lithographic 
notices by which one party could know the force of an 
other the direction taken the extent and nature of the 
danger which threatened, and impart the summons for 
a gathering. That these surmises were correct every old 
Indian fighter knows; but the responsibilities of my po 
sition determined me to make a study of points so essen 
tial to a successful campaign, and the safety of my com 
mand. Nevertheless, it will be found that a party, even 
though it be a small one, which is well armed; which 
never relaxes its vigilance ; which selects clear, open 
ground for camping; which invariably throws out an ad 
vanced guard, and keeps its weapons always ready for 
use at a moment's warning, can move with safety through 
all portions of Arizona and New Mexico; while ten times 
their number, disregarding these precautions, are sure 
to be attacked, and if attacked about as certain to be 
defeated with loss. Let it be again distinctly impressed 
upon my readers, that the Apache never attacks unless 
fully convinced of an easy victory. They will watch for 
days, scanning your every movement, observing your 
every act; taking exact note of your party and all its 
belongings. Let no one suppose that these assaults are 
made upon the spur of the moment by bands accidentally 
encountered. Far from it; they are almost invariably 
the results of long watching patient waiting careful 
and rigorous observation, and anxious counsel. 

Throughout nearly the whole of Arizona the traveler 



LIFE AMONG THE APACHES. 181 

encounters a succession of high mountain ridges, run 
ning northwest and southeast, overlooking intermediate, 
unwooded and unconcealed plains, which are from fif 
teen to forty miles from ridge to ridge. The sierras are 
not continuous or united, but occur in isolated ranges of 
from twenty to fifty miles in extent, with smooth and 
clear prairie lands between them. These intervals ex 
tend from one to five miles; but as they afford neither 
wood nor water, are never traveled except by very small 
parties, which can move quickly and are too weak to risk 
the dangerous mountain passes and canons. But even 
this cannot be effected in some places without making a 
detour of many miles from the direct road, and it is often 
indispensable to run all risks rather than lose time, or 
suffer the inconveniences of such a round-about and 
wretchedly provided march, where one is likely to perish 
from the want of w^ater. 

The land along the Gila is excessively alkaline and un 
productive in its present condition, although in many 
places the willow, cotton-wood and mesquit flourish lux 
uriantly. In wet weather the soil becomes a soft, deep 
and tenacious muck, which almost wholly impedes wagon 
travel, and during the dry season the roads are so deeply 
covered with a fine, almost impassable and light dust, 
that every footfall throws up clouds of it yards above the 
traveler's head, completely shutting out from sight all 
objects more than three yards distant. To such an ex 
tent does this prevail in some localities, that I have been 
unable to distinguish the man or his horse at my side, 
and within reach of my arm, on a fine moonlight night. 

In the immediate neighborhood of Tucson, on the ta 
ble land outside of its cultivated fields, the traveler, for 
the first time, meets with the far-famed grama grass, but 
on descending from this mesa does not again come in 
9 



182 LIFE AMONG THE APACHES. 

contact with it until he reaches Dragoon Springs. This 
grama grass is beyond all comparison the most nutricious 
herbage ever cropped by quadrupeds. It is much heav 
ier, contains more saccharine in connection with more 
farinaceous and strength-giving aliment than any other 
grass known. At least such is my experience, and that 
of all other men who have had occasion to test its virtues 
and time to pronounce upon its merits. I .give it the 
very first rank among all sorts of hay, believing it to 
be superior to clover, timothy, alfalfa, or all three to 
gether. Although I have never been able to observe any 
seed upon this grass, it seems to combine the qualities 
of grain and hay in the greatest perfection. Horses will 
live and do well upon it, provided they can obtain it 
regularly, while doing active cavalry duty, without other 
feed; but they must have it, as stated, regularly in 
abundance, and be permitted to crop it from native pas 
tures. It bears no flower, exhibits no seed, but seems to 
reproduce itself from the roots by the shooting up of 
young, green and vigorous spires, which are at first in 
closed within the sheaths of their old and dried-up pre 
decessors, and by their growth split and cast them to 
earth, and occupy their places. 

I am not sufficiently versed in botany to give my read 
ers a more elaborate and scientific account of this superb 
grass, and if I were, it would not be my desire in a work 
of this character to inflict upon the general reader a se 
ries of double-barreled Greek terms which not one in a 
thousand could understand, and, understanding, would 
care about. The object is to convey some tolerable idea 
of that great aliment for herbivorous animals upon which 
the Apache races rely for the support of their horses, 
and which, by its singularly strength-giving properties, 
is capable of enabling their ponies to perform extraordi 
nary feats of endurance. 



LIFE AMONG THE APACHES. 183 

From Dragoon Pass eastward the whole of the vast 
region inhabited by the Apaches is covered with this 
species of grass, which is more or less thick and nourish 
ing, according to circumstances, but always in sufficient 
abundance to afford all the nutriment required. It is 
this plentiful distribution of the most strengthening 
grass in the world which enables the Apache to maintain 
his herds, make his extraordinary marches, and inflict 
wide-spread depredations. 

A knowledge of signals, whether smokes or fires, or 
bent twigs and pressed grass, or of turned stones, to 
gether with the localities of water sources, the different 
passes through the sierras, the nature and quantity of 
the fodder to be had in certain districts, the capacity to 
distinguish tracks and state with certainty by whom 
made, and how long before, are absolutely indispensable 
to a successful campaign among those savages. To the 
acquirement of all these points I devoted much atten 
tion, and, without egotism, can claim such success as to 
privilege me in giving the result of my researches as 
worthy of confidence. 

Smokes are of various kinds, each one significant of a 
particular object. A sudden puff, rising into a graceful 
column from the mountain heights, and almost as sud 
denly losing its identity by dissolving into the rarified 
atmosphere of those heights, simply indicates the pres 
ence of a strange party upon the plains below; but if 
those columns are rapidly multiplied and repeated, they 
serve as a warning to show that the travelers are well 
armed and numerous. If a steady smoke is. maintained 
for some time, the object is to collect the scattered bands 
of savages at some designated point, with hostile inten 
tion, should it be practicable. These signals are made 
at night, in the same order, by the use of fires, which 



184 LIFE AMONG THE APACHES. 

being kindled, are either alternately exposed and 
shrouded from view, or suffered to burn steadily, as oc 
casion may require. All travelers in Arizona and New 
Mexico are acquainted with the fact that if the grass be 
pressed down in a certain direction during the dry sea 
son, it will retain the impress and grow daily more and 
more yellow until the rainy season imparts new life and 
restores it to pristine vigor and greenness. The Apaches 
are so well versed in this style of signalizing that they 
can tell you, by the appearance of the grass, how many 
days have elapsed since it was trodden upon, whether 
the party consisted of Indians or whites, about how many 
there were, and, if Indians, to what particular tribe they 
belonged. In order to define these points, they select 
some well marked footstep, for which they hunt with 
avidity, and gently pressing down the trodden grass so 
as not to disturb surrounding herbage, they very care 
fully examine the print. The difference between the 
crushing heel of a white man's boot or shoe, and the 
light imprint left by an Indian's moccasin, is too strik 
ing to admit of doubt, while the different styles of moc 
casin used by the several divisions of the Apache tribes 
are well known among them. The time which has 
elapsed since the passage of the party is determined by 
discoloration of the herbage and breaking off a few spires 
to ascertain the approximate amount of natural juice still 
left in the crushed grass. Numbers are arrived at by 
the multiplicity of tracks. Signalizing by bent twigs, 
broken branches and blazed trees, is too well known to 
deserve special mention here. In these respects the 
Apaches do not differ from other Indian tribes of this 
continent. 

If a mounted party has been on the road, their num 
bers, quality and time of passage are determined with 



LIFE AMONG THE APACHES. 185 

exactitude, as well as the precise sex and species of the 
animals ridden. The moment such a trail is fallen in 
with, they follow it eagerly, having nothing else to do, 
until they find some of the dung, which is immediately 
broken open, and from its moisture and other properties, 
the date of travel is arrived at nearly to a certainty, 
while the constituents almost invariably declare the re 
gion from which the party came. This last point de 
pends upon whether the dung is composed of grama 
grass, barley and grass, corn, bunch grass, buffalo grass, 
sacaton, or any of the well known grasses of the coun 
try, for as they are chiefly produced in different districts, 
the fact of their presence in the dung shows precisely 
from what district the animal last came. When barley 
is discovered the Apaches have reason to believe that 
Americans have been over the route, and when maize is 
found they feel confident that the travelers were either 
Mexicans or people from that country. These remarks 
apply only to unshod horses, for iron prints speak for 
themselves. The difference in sexes is easily told by the 
attitude each assumes while urinating the male stretch 
ing himself and ejecting his urine forward of his hind 
feet, while the female ejects to the rear of the hind prints. 
Signalizing by stones is much more difficult to com 
prehend, and very few have ever arrived at even a dis 
tant knowledge of this art. Perhaps the most skillful 
detecter of such notices was "Kit Carson," as he was 
generally termed, and it would be very strange if he 
were not. No man in the United States has had greater 
experience, and no man possessed a keener natural in 
stinct to detect Indian signs. I must confess my ina 
bility to do this part of the subject full justice, but will 
give the result of my observations. The traveler is often 
surprised to notice a number of stones on one side the 



186 LIFE AMONG THE APACHES. 

road, lying apparently without any set arrangement, 
when he can observe no others within reach of his eye. 
A careful observation will convince him that they never 
grew in that region, but were brought from some consid 
erable distance. This translation was certainly neither 
the work of Americans nor Mexicans, but of Indians, 
and evidently for some fixed purpose. A closer exam 
ination will show that these stones are regularly ar 
ranged, and that the majority point to some special 
point of the compass, while the number of those who 
planted them is designated by some concerted placement 
of each stone. For instance, no one need be told that in 
wild countries like Arizona, where deluges of rain pour 
down during the rainy season, the heaviest side of a stone 
will, in course of time, find itself underneath, and when 
this order is reversed, especially under the circumstances 
above cited, there is good reason to believe that it has 
been purposely done. This belief becomes certainty on 
seeing that each one of the group, or parcel, is precisely 
the same way. Besides, a stone which has been long 
lying on one particular side, soon contracts a quantity 
of clay or soil on its nether surface, while its upper one 
has been washed clean. If it be turned over, or partly 
over, the difference becomes easily discoverable. If one 
stone be placed on end so as to rest against another, it 
means that the party so placing it require aid and assist 
ance. If turned completely over^it indicates disaster 
during some raid; and if only partly turned, that the ex 
pedition has been a failure. Success is noted by the 
stones being left in a natural position, heaviest side down, 
but so arranged as to be nearly in line. I am not suffi 
ciently expert in this style of signalizing to give any 
further explanations, and I doubt if any one but "Kit 
Carson " was capable of fully decyphering this kind of 
Apache warnings. 



LIFE AMONG THE APAOHES. 187 

These remarks have seemed necessary to the full de 
velopment of the Apache character, as they, in some 
sort, serve to account for the clear and explicit under 
standing which undoubtedly exists among the many de 
tached fragments of that race. Without some such codes 
of signals, they would be comparatively incapable of the 
terrible devastations and outrages they have perpetrated. 
Neither could they collect their scattered bands for any 
occasion requiring numbers without great loss of time 
and trouble. Having no reliable means for subsistence 
beyond what they obtain by marauding excursions, they 
are wholly incapable of maintaining any considerable 
number for more than a few days at a time, and they, 
therefore, depend upon their signals as the means of 
warning each other, and consolidating whenever the 
"game is worth the candle." The Apaches brought 
their system to wonderful perfection, and from this arises 
their capacity to act conjointly with celerity, vigor and 
effect, although the operating bodies may not actually 
meet until just before the time for action arrives. It is 
to this system that the Apache bands of fives, tens and 
twenties, separated from each other by twenty, thirty 
and forty miles, feel that they are operating always in 
concert, and manage to maintain a rigid police espion 
age over the vast region they inhabit. 

"When will the white man ever become wise, and, in 
stead of treating the Indian with scornful indifference, 
give him credit for his intelligence, his quick and remark 
able instincts, his powers of reflection and organization, 
and his inveterate opposition to all innovation? We 
have been too much in the habit of treating them with 
contempt, and underrating our savage enemies. This 
has been a serious blunder, the rock upon which so 
many millions of money and so many precious lives have 



188 LIFE AMONG THE APACHES. 

been wrecked. Is it not time to accept a new policy in 
their regard ? Will civilized people never learn that they 
are quite as obtuse to comprehend real Indian nature as 
the Indians to understand their civilization? Can they 
not see that their hauteur, self-sufficiency and overbear 
ing conceit, are quite as reprehensible as the Indian's ig 
norance, distrust and superstition? The savage is par 
donable in his mental darkness, but the white man is 
inexcusable in his light. Semi-idiotic people believe 
that the Apache of to-day is like his ancestor of half a 
century ago; that he fights with bow and stone-headed 
arrows; that he has learned nothing from experience; 
that he is a biped brute who is as easily killed as a wolf; 
that he possesses no power of organization, combination, 
judgment, skill, strategy or reflection; but the truth is, 
that he possesses them all in an eminent degree. When 
the popular mind shall have been disabused of such 
heresy, it will have' accomplished the first step 'toward 
that long-wanted result, the domination and consequent 
pacification of the Indian tribes of the North American 
continent. 

Let it be well understood that the Apache of to-day is 
armed with the best kind of rifle, with Colt's six-shooters 
and with knives, and that, in addition to these, he is 
never without his silent, death-dealing bow and quiver 
full of iron-headed arrows. While adopting our im 
proved weapons, whenever occasion offers, they never 
abandon those of their sires. The reasons for this are 
fourfold : First, the bow and arrow in the hands of skill 
ful warriors proves very deadly; it makes no noise, and 
for night attacks or the taking off of sentinels, is far su 
perior to the gun. Secondly, it is the best weapon that 
can be used in the chase, or, more properly, on the 
hunt, as half a dozen animals may be slain in a herd be- 



LIFE AMONG THE APACHES. 189 

fore their comrades are made aware of the fact. Thirdly, 
they are so light that they can be worn without the 
slightest sense of encumbrance. Fourthly, they can al 
ways be relied on, at close quarters, when other weapons 
fail, or ammunition, of which they possess limited sup 
plies, gives out. It is, therefore, not strange that the 
Apache will invariably add his bow and arrows to his 
personal armament, although he may be the owner of a 
Spencer rifle and a couple of Colt's revolvers, with am 
munition to suit. Whenever they design entering one 
of our military camps they invariably conceal, at some 
distance, firearms; so that they may appear innocent of 
designed enmity or their possession, but should occasion 
serve, they quickly manage to re-possess themselves of 
all their weapons. 

Let it also be understood that the Apache has as per 
fect a knowledge of the. assimilation of colors as the most 
experienced Paris modiste. By means of his acumen in 
this respect, he can conceal his swart body amidst the 
green grass, behind brown shrubs, or gray rocks, with 
so much address and judgment that any but the experi 
enced would pass him by without detection at the dis 
tance of three or four yards. Sometimes they will en 
velop themselves in a gray blanket, and by an artistic 
sprinkling of earth, will so resemble a granite boulder as 
to be passed within near range without suspicion. At 
others, they will cover their persons with freshly gath 
ered grass, and lying prostrate, appear as a natural por 
tion of the field. Again, they will plant themselves 
among the yuccas, and so closely imitate the appearance 
of that tree as to pass for one of its species. These ex 
act imitations of natural objects which are continually 
present to the traveler, tend to disarm suspicion; yet, I 
would not advise the wayfarer to examine each suspected 



190 LIFE AMONG THE APACHES. 

bush, tree or rock, but simply to maintain a cautious 
system of marching never, for a moment, relaxing his 
watchfulness, and invariably keeping his weapons ready 
for immediate use. Whenever these precautions are ob 
served, the Apache is slow to attack, even at monstrous 
odds in his favor. 

The selfishness inherent in the human race crops out 
with intensity among these Indians; yet their hatred and 
animosity toward all other races is even stronger, and is 
the matrix of the cohesive principle by which they have 
been kept together, and which has proved their safe 
guard against all outside corrupting influences. Under 
no circumstances will one Apache risk anything for an 
other, unless it is manifestly to his interest. The most 
refined civilization could not advance him in this respect. 
He appreciates self just as well as those who have been 
the habitues of "Wall street, the Stock Exchange, or the 
Parisian Boulevards. If the height of good breeding 
consists in being perfectly impassive, and disregardful 
of the events which attend on fellow men, then the 
Apache has arrived at the apex of good breeding, and 
lordlings may take lessons from his school of manners. 
Their great natural intelligence makes them comprehend 
that "in union is strength," and their desire to exhibit 
that strength is ever prevalent. They delight to mani 
fest their numerical power, for the reason that oppor 
tunities for such exhibition are very rare, and whatever 
is of common occurrence ceases to interest; and also 
because such combinations tend to inflict additional 
dread upon their enemies, and the inculcation of this 
sentiment is a chief cause of security to each Apache. 

In all our dealings with Indian tribes we have quite 
underrated their abilities, and in this we have demon 
strated our own stupidity. The vanity and self-conceit 



LIFE AMONG THE APACHES. 191 

of civilized and educated men are never more stilted 
than when brought in contact with savage races. Such 
persons are prone to address the Indian with a smirk or 
patronizing air which is very offensive, and would never 
be used toward an equal. No allowance is made for the 
fact that the proud savage does consider himself not 
only the equal, but the superior of his white brother. 
It seems never to have been understood that consider 
able deference should be paid to his very ignorance, be 
cause that ignorance is his sufficient excuse for crediting 
himself with superior intelligence. The conceit of the 
educated white man is fully equaled by that of the 
savage, and the lower he is in the scale of mental ability 
the greater will be his pretension to superiority. The 
fact that a wise man knows himself to be ignorant, while 
an ignorant man believes himself to be wise, is fully 
exemplified in our intercourse with the Apaches, but it 
is a question in my mind whether the Apaches have not 
had the best end of the argument, when the character 
and acts of their agents, and. others, who have been ap 
pointed to treat with them, are known and considered. 
To arrive at a successful arrangement with these In 
dians they must be approached in the first place as equals. 
This will flatter their inordinate vanity, and minister to 
their excessive selfishness. After a few interviews for 
the purpose of establishing amicable understanding, the 
agent, or treating party, or traveler, should carefully in 
troduce some cheap natural effects, the employment of 
which would be ridiculed in ordinary civilized life, but 
present astounding revelations to the wild Indian. The 
use of a double convexed lens, as a magnifier, or as a 
burning-glass; the employment of a strong field glass; 
exhibiting the powers and qualities of a strong magnet; 
showing the wonders of the magic lantern, and other 



192 LIFE AMONG THE APACHES. 

like simple demonstrations, will invariably impress them 
with something of respect and regard toward the oper 
ator, provided he is exceedingly careful in his first at 
tempts not to alarm their pride and suspicion by any 
boastful or vain expression or demeanor. These things 
should be done as if with the intention of asking from 
them an exhibition of their skill in return for your efforts 
to please. They should never be permitted to infer that 
they are the results of boastful superiority. In this man 
ner a feeling of mutual regard can be engendered which 
is the first step toward the establishment of durable 
amity. They should be asked to exhibit their address 
in shooting, riding, hunting and other pursuits of like 
character, in which they are expert. The white man 
should evince a desire to learn as well as teach; but so 
long as we continue to approach them with hauteur and 
with patronizing airs, they will resist our efforts and em 
ploy all their cunning to overreach and leave us worse 
off than ever. As they cannot rise to our level we must 
descend to theirs to understand and appreciate their true 
character. 

But even under the most favorable circumstances, and 
with the employment of every resource within our power, 
only very meagre and unsatisfactory results can be ob 
tained. The labors and experiences of two hundred 
and fifty years have failed utterly to create any favor 
able impression upon our Indian races, with the excep 
tion of the Choctaws and Cherokees, who were actually 
hemmed in by intelligent people, and had civilization 
forced upon them to some extent, and scarcely one of 
whom is tu-day of pure Indian blood. I consider the 
idea of emancipating our savage tribes from the thraldom 
of their ignorance and perverse traditional hatred of the 
whites as wholly utopian. Of all the tribes on our con- 



LIFE AMONG THE APACHES. 193 

tinent the Apache is the most impracticable. Their 
enmity toward mankind, and distrust of every word and 
act are ineradicable. As their whole system of life and 
training is to plunder, murder and deceive, they cannot 
comprehend opposite attributes in others. He whom 
we would denounce as the greatest scoundrel they regard 
with special esteem and honor. With no people are they 
on amicable terms, and never hesitate to rob from each 
other when it can be done with impunity. There is no 
sympathy among them; the quality is unknown. Should 
an Apache's horse escape and run past another of the 
tribe, close enough to catch the animal by simply reach 
ing forth his hand, that hand will never be stretched for 
the purpose; but the owner must do the business for 
himself, if his squaw is not at hand to do it for him. 
Nevertheless, after a successful raid, in which they have 
captured many animals, and having selected the best for 
riding, retire to some remote fastness to feed upon the 
remainder so long as they last, they will freely share to 
the very last bit with any and all comers of their race. 
This seeming hospitality is, however, not the result of 
kindliness, but the prompting of a selfish policy, for 
they are aware it assists to unite them in one common 
band of plundering brotherhood, and to preserve those 
relations toward each other without which they cannot 
operate advantageously. Frequently when one has re 
ceived a small present of tobacco, or some such article, 
he will divide it among all on the spot, simply because 
he knows that the same thing will be done to him by the 
others whenever occasion serves, and not from any sense 
of generosity, as may be seen from the fact that, if one 
only be present to receive a gift, he immediately hides 
it on some part of his person and complacently ignores 
its existence to all who may arrive after the event. 



194 LIFE AMONG THE APACHES. 

There is nothing of which they are so careful as am 
munition. Always difficult to obtain, and indispensable 
in their engagements at the present day, every grain of 
powder is preserved with extraordinary solicitude. In 
their hunting excursions they never fire a gun or pistol 
if it can possibly be avoided, but depend entirely upon 
their skill in approaching the game near enough to use 
the bow and arrow. At an early period they understood 
fully the value of double sights on any weapon carrying 
a ball, and the old-fashioned single-barreled shot guns, 
a few of them possessed at that time, were invariably 
sawed into with a knife to the depth of one-eighth of an 
inch, a few inches from the breech, when the thin sliver 
was raised above the barrel and carefully notched to form 
the rear sight. 

At the present writing they have a considerable num 
ber of Henry's, Spencer's and Sharp's rifles, with some 
of the fixed ammunition required by the two first men 
tioned. Every cartridge they get hold of is preserved 
with solicitude until it can be expended with decided 
advantage. These weapons have been obtained grad 
ually by the robbery and murder of their former owners, 
and not a few have been bought in the frontier Mexican 
towns, where they were sold by immigrants to obtain 
food and other supplies while crossing the continent. 
The hostilities which raged along the northern portion 
of Mexico for four years also contributed to place within 
their reach many weapons of fair quality. That they 
know how to handle these arms with deadly skill has 
been attested on too many occasions to need particular 
mention in thse pages. From Gila Bend to Paso del 
Norte is little better than a continuous grave-yard, 
grizzly with the rude monuments of Apache bloodthirst- 
iness. Town after town, once containing several thou- 



LIFE AMONG THE APACHES. 195 

sand inhabitants and even now showing the remains of 
fine brick churches; rancho after rancho, formerly stocked 
with hundreds of thousands of cattle and horses, and 
teeming- with wealth; village after village all through the 
northern parts of Sonora and Chihuahua, the whole em 
braced in a belt five hundred miles long and from thirty 
to eighty wide, now exhibit one wide-spread and tenant- 
less desolation, the work of the Apache Indians. For 
ninety consecutive years this ruthless warfare has been, 
carried on against a timid, nearly unarmed and demor 
alized people. Thousands of lives have been destroyed, 
and thousands of women and children carried into a cap 
tivity worse than death, during that period; and yet the 
deadly, destructive and unholy work goes on with unre- 
laxed vigor. It is both sickening and maddening to ride 
through that region and witness the far-reaching ruin, 
to listen to the dreadful tales of unequaled atrocities, 
and note the despairing terror which the bare mention 
of the Apaches conjures up to their diseased and horrified 
imaginations. 

Coming to the American side, we enter upon another 
field of destruction, but in nowise comparable to that 
which Mexico exhibits. The great majority of our sacri 
fices of life and property have been the results of want 
of caution, of fool-hardiness and too great self-reliance. 
As already stated, we are too prone to underrate the 
Apache in all respects, ^and by so doing set a trap for our 
own feet. But even on our side the border the traveler 
will encounter many fine farms abandoned, their build 
ings in ruins, and the products of years of industry 
wrested from their grasp. On every road little mounds 
of stones by the way-side, some with a rude cross, and 
others with a modest head-board, speak in silent but 
'terribly suggestive language of the Apaches' bloody 



196 LIFE AMONa THE APACHES. 

work. Scattered all over Arizona are mines of wondrous 
wealth utterly inapplicable to the uses of mankind so 
long as that tribe remains unsubdued and unconquered. 
Communication between any two places, if not more 
than a mile apart, cannot be ventured upon without ab 
solute danger. No man can trust his animals to graze 
three hundred yards from the town walls without incur 
ring the risk of losing them at high noon. Mexican wo 
men and children have been carried off during the day 
time, while washing in the stream, within four hundred 
yards of their own doors and in plain sight of their towns 
people. These atrocities, and others unnecessary to 
mention, go on year after year; and thus far no success 
ful result has been obtained, as might have been ex 
pected, from the puerile and ill-directed efforts made to 
suppress them. "Wherever an intelligent and well con 
ceived movement has been concerted within the power 
of the limited force in Arizona, official stupidity has in 
variably disconcerted and paralyzed its efficiency. This 
is no vague and untenable charge, as will be seen in suc 
ceeding pages. There is but one opinion on the subject 
throughout all Arizona. The correspondence between 
Gov. McCormick and Gen. McDowell, some of which 
has been made public through the daily papers, is in it 
self sufficient to establish the assertion, and no doubt 
led to the removal of Gen. McDowell from the field of 
his operations. Personally, my regard for that officer 
as a gentleman is very sincere; but it may be doubted if 
the army register contains the name gf another so wholly, 
so utterly incapable of comprehending Indian nature 
and the requirements of Indian warfare. As a cabinet 
officer he may have few equals in the service; but for In 
dian campaigning, it would be difficult to select another 
so little fitted. 



CHAPTEE XVI. 



Condition of New Mexico and Arizona. Active Campaign. Calif ornian Soldiers. 
Bosqiie Redondo. More Intimate Relations with Apaches. Site of Fort 
Sumner. Scarcity of Wood. Climate. Arrival of Apache Prisoners of 
War. Dog Canon. Apache Embassy. Mr. Labadie. Placed in Charge of 
the Apaches.- -Form a Council. Hunting Excursion with Apaches. Their 
Mode of Killing Antelopes. Learn more of Indian Character. Obtain a 
G reater Share of their Confidence. 



So soon as Sibley's command had been driven from 
Arizona and New Mexico, Gen. Carleton devoted his at 
tention to protect from Indian outrage the inhabitants 
of those Territories. Previous to our arrival no one had 
the hardihood to venture outside the skirts of the towns 
and villages, unless accompanied by a force respectable 
in numbers, if in nothing else. The whole country was 
a theater of desolation. What the Confederates failed 
to appropriate, the Apaches destroyed. The inhabitants 
were literally starving and utterly demoralized. Instead 
of being able to furnish us supplies, we were compelled 
to afford them occasional assistance. This state of affairs 
had been foreseen by Carleton, to some extent, and we 
were consequently in a condition to be independent un 
til such protection could be granted as would induce the 
resident population to re-commence farming operations. 

Soon after our advent, .Gen. Canby was recalled, and 
the chief command invested in Carleton. From that time 
a series of active and energetic campaigns against the 
Apache and Navajo tribes was inaugurated, which had 
the effect of completely humiliating those leading na- 



198 LIFE AMONG THE APACHES. 

tions and re-establishing the peace, security and produc 
tiveness of the two Territories. After much delibera 
tion, and years subsequent to the incidents narrated, it 
is my conviction that the many signal triumphs obtained 
over the Apaches and Navajoes could only have been 
achieved by Californian soldiers, who seem gifted in a 
special manner with the address and ability to contend 
advantageously against them. This assertion has been 
so frequently admitted by the resident populations that 
it is not deemed necessary to dilate further than mention 
the names of such men as Koberts, McCleave, Fritz, 
Shirland, the two Greens, Tidball, Whitlock, Thayer, 
Pettis, and many others, who rendered good service and 
compassed the security and peace of the two Territories 
during their term of service. "With the retirement of 
the Californian troops another series of robberies and 
massacres was instituted by the Indians, and maintained 
until the present time without apparent hindrance. 

In the winter of 1862-3, I was ordered from Albu 
querque to join Capt. Updegraff, commanding company 
A, Fifth United States Infantry, and to proceed to the 
Bosque Bedondo, somewhere on the Pecos river, over 
two hundred and fifty miles to the eastward outside the 
bounds of all human habitation, and ninety miles from 
the nearest civilized inhabitant. Capt. Updegraff was 
instructed to examine the Bosque Kedondo, and select 
a site for the construction of a large fort, with the view 
of establishing an extensive Indian Reservation in its im 
mediate neighborhood. This sort of exile was anything 
but displeasing to me, for I much preferred being from 
under the nose of a commanding General, whose unscru 
pulous ambition and exclusive selfishness had passed into 
a proverb, despite his acknowledged ability and appar 
ent zeal. But it is not my task to discuss matters of 



LIFE AMONG THE APACHES. 199 

this nature; and the reference is only to show by what 
means I again became intimately acquainted with re 
nowned Apaches and acquired their language, together 
with a knowledge of those traits, customs and organiza 
tions, which has enabled me to write with confidence and 
understanding upon these and kindred points. 

Capt. Updegraff was ordered to make a reconnoissance 
of the Bosque Redondo, and select a site for the future 
post and reservation; such selection to be approved or 
disapproved by a board of engineers, specially ordered 
to make a thorough survey. On arriving at the Bosque, 
the Captain ordered me to go ahead and select a camp 
ground; and in obedience thereto, I took ten men and 
reconnoitered the river and its banks for several miles, 
finally fixing on a spot formerly used as a sheep corral 
by Mexicans during a time of peace, many years before. 
This spot was chosen for the three fold reasons that it 
was near water, which was approachable through an 
open space in the woods; that it was covered with excel 
lent pasture; and that it contained the stakes and tim 
bers of the old corral, which were dry and made excel 
lent fire-wood. This selection was approved, and the 
next day a further reconnoissance was made to fix a per 
manent site for the fort. This ended in confirming the 
first choice, and here the most beautiful Indian fort in 
the United States was ultimately constructed, the board 
of engineers having indorsed the spot as being the most 
eligible on the river. This fort was built almost wholly 
by Calif ornian soldiers, and is beyond comparison the 
handsomest and most picturesque in the Union. Never 
theless, it was easy to comprehend that, should &ny great 
number of persons be assembled thereat, a scarcity of 
wood must ultimately occur, and as Fahrenheit's ther 
mometer occasionally falls to eight and ten degrees be- 



200 LIFE AMONG THE APACHES. 

low zero in the winter time, wood was an object of prime 
necessity. The alamo furnished the whole supply of this 
material , and the extent of the Bosque Redondo , or Round 
Woods, was only sixteen miles long by half a mile wide 
in the widest place, and for several miles affording only 
a few scattered trees, which were by no means thick even 
in the densest portions. When we arrived the weather 
was very cold, with eight inches of snow upon the ground, 
and the first duty was to " hut in" the command. This 
was accomplished in a short time, after which rude but 
serviceable stables were put up, a hospital, quartermas 
ter's and commissary's stores built, and the other requi 
site shelters erected. 

Scarcely had these precautions been taken before we 
received an invoice of five hundred Apaches, including 
the leading warriors of the Mescalero tribe, their women 
and children, and a few of the chief Jicarillas. These 
were the savages who had so long held Dog Canon, and 
defied all attempts to force a passage through that re 
nowned stronghold. Capt. McCleave, of company A, 
First Cavalry California Volunteers, determined to 
"give it a try;" and having obtained permission, soon 
succeeded in routing and completely demoralizing the 
savages, who fled to Fort Stanton for shelter and protec 
tion, closely pursued by McCleave and his company so 
closely, in fact, that the Apaches saw no other means of 
escape from certain destruction except to deliver them 
selves up as prisoners of war to Col. "Kit" Carson, at 
that time in charge of Fort Stanton, with four compa 
nies of infantry and one of native New Mexican cavalry. 
Carson informed McCleave that the Indians had placed 
themselves under his protection, subject to the disposal 
of the General commanding; upon which McCleave with 
drew, not over-pleased with the result, although he had 
whipped them handsomely in Dog Canon. 



LIFE AMONG THE APACHES. 201 

Soon afterward five of the leading warriors proceeded 
to Santa Fe, under an armed escort, to confer with the 
General, who exacted that they should submit to being 
placed upon the reservation of the Bosque Eedondo. 
The answer of their chief spokesman, named Cadete'by 
the Mexicans, but whose Apache appellation is Gian- 
nah-tah, or "Always Ready," is indicative of the nature 
and character of his tribe. Having listened to the Gen 
eral's final determination, he answered and said: 

"You are stronger than we. We have fought ybu so 
long as we had rifles and powder; but your arms are 
better than ours. Give us like weapons and turn us 
loose, we will fight you again; but we are worn-out; we 
have no more heart; we have no provisions, no means to 
live; your troops are everywhere; our springs and water 
holes are either occupied or overlooked by your young 
men. You have driven us from our last and best strong 
hold, and we have no more heart. Do with us as may 
seem, good to you, but do not forget we are men and 
braves." 

They were remanded back to Fort Stanton, and from 
thence sent to the Bosque Eedondo, since called Fort 
Sumner, where they arrived after a long and painful 
march of one hundred and thirty miles, with short ra 
tions and much suffering. They were immediately turned 
over to my charge by Capt. TJpdegraff, although the In 
dian agent, Mr. Labaclie, was with them, and from that 
moment I laid the foundation of that confidence and 
respect which was never alienated, and which enabled 
me to perfect a knowledge of their character far greater 
than ever arrived at by the experiences of any other 
white man. 

In a short time their number was increased to seven 
hundred, and subsequently to nearly fifteen hundred. 



202 LIFE AMONG THE APACHES. 

By their own request I was authorized to take exclusive 
charge of their affairs. In so far as military movements 
were concerned, they appointed me their Nantanh-in- 
jah, or Chief Captain, and submitted to my arbitration 
all their social and tribal difficulties, my decision being 
final. I soon formed a council of their principal men, 
and lost no opportunity to make myself acquainted with 
their views, manners, habits, customs, religious and so 
cial observances, language, and, in fine, whatever tended 
to unfold their characteristics. My council consisted of 
Gian-nah-tah, or Always Ready; Na-tanh, or the Corn 
Flower; Too-ah-y ay-say, or the Strong Swimmer; Natch- 
in-ilk-kisn, or the Colored Beads; Nah-kah-yen, or the 
Keen Sighted; Para-dee-ah-tran, or the Contented; Klo- 
sen, or the Hair Hope; and a Jicarilla man of note, whose 
Indian naime has escaped my memory, but the meaning 
of which was the Kicking Horse. The renown of these 
warriors was too well established in the tribe to admit of 
doubt, and, whatever they said, was submitted to with 
out question. How this control was obtained over these 
grim savages is worthy of mention, as indicative of their 
profound respect for personal adventure. 

Five days after their arrival in camp, Mr. Labadie 
came to me and said: "These Indians are in great des 
titution. They consumed their rations two days ago, 
and have nothing to eat. There are many women and 
children among them, and two days more must elapse 
before rations are again distributed. Their warriors 
have asked that they be allowed to go hunting. The 
plains close by are filled with herds of antelopes, which 
may easily be taken. I have been to Capt. Updegraff, 
but he will not hearken to the proposition; please try 
and see what you can do, for otherwise they may attempt 
to escape from the Reservation." 



LIFE AMONG THE APACHES. 203 

I immediately sought the post commander and said to 
him : " Captain, the Apaches have asked your permission 
to go on a grand hunt, which you have refused; allow 
me to say that they are starving, that you have their 
wives and children as hostages for their return, and if 
you will recall your determination, I will volunteer to go 
out with them and be answerable for their safe return 
within forty-eight hours." 

Capt. Updegraff peered at me through his black, in 
telligent eyes for a moment or two, and then replied: 
"Very well, Captain; if you choose to trust yourself 
with these unmitigated red devils and make yourself re 
sponsible for their return, and give me official assurance 
in writing, that it is indispensably necessary, you can 
start with them to-morrow morning at daylight; but do 
not remain away longer than forty-eight hours." 

This resolution was forthwith conveyed to Mr. Laba- 
dife, who spread it among the Apaches, taking care to 
inform them by what means the favor had been granted. 

Next morning, at seven o'clock, we sallied forth, the 
party numbering one hundred and ten Apaches, ninety- 
five of whom were warriors and fifteen women the only 
person present, not an Apache, being myself. I had 
four Colt's six-shooters, two in my saddle-holsters and 
two in my belt, with a large bowie knife, but my horse 
was infinitely superior to anything they could boast in 
that line. They were all armed with bows and arrows 
all who possessed rifles or pistols having left them in 
camp. 

In the field, whether for warlike purposes or for hunt 
ing, the Apache is very reticent, and by no means given 
to talking. Conversation is only indulged while in camp, 
and amidst friends during a period of apparent security. 
But upon this occasion they gave full vent to their joy 



204 LIFE AMONG THE APACHES. 

and satisfaction, and offered me a number of little atten 
tions. We rode on for five miles until the top of a hill 
was reached, from which we could obtain a fair view of 
the surrounding country. Here a short consultation was 
held among them, during which I smoked a cigarito, 
giving* several to those close in my neighborhood. A 
certain direction having been selected as the field of op 
erations, we again started, and after having progressed 
about two miles, the band formed into two lines, the 
first being about six hundred yards in advance of the 
second. These two bodies then prolonged their lines so 
that no two individuals were nearer than forty or fifty 
yards, which stretched each line to the distance of two 
thousand five hundrec^ or three thousand yards, sweep 
ing a large surface of territory, and yet close enough 
to prevent the escape of an antelope through the two 
human barriers, or between the huntsmen in each. In 
this f ormatibn we progressed until a herd was seen abaut 
half a mile in advance. Instantly the two wings of the 
first line rode forward at full speed, and succeeded in 
cutting off the retreat of the doomed animals by com 
pleting a circle; at the same time the gaps were rapidly 
closed up, and the circle narrowed with amazing celerity 
and dexterity. The terror-stricken antelopes turned to 
flee, but on every side they met an inexorable and keenly 
watchful enemy. Bewildered, panting with agony and 
fear, inclosed on all sides, they soon became incapable 
of continuing the unequal contest, and were killed with 
perfect ease. The few which contrived to break through 
the first line were sure to meet death at the hands of the 
second. Not one in fifty escaped, and their preservation 
seemed almost miraculous. In this way we managed to 
destroy eighty-seven antelopes on that expedition, and 
it was my good fortune to kill five, being two more than 



LIFE AMONG THE APACHES. 205 

were bagged by any other hunter on the field. These I 
gave the Apaches, reserving only a hind quarter for my 
self. Within thirty-six hours I had the satisfaction of 
reporting to Capt. Updegraff, and relating to him the 
complete success of our hunting excursion, at which he 
was so well pleased that I never afterward met any ob 
jection from that gallant and good officer when a like 
expedition was to be undertaken. 

After this event the Apaches seemingly gave me more 
of their confidence than ever, but I was still far from the 
point ultimately reached, although I then thought I had 
achieved it nearly all. This fact should warn us never 
to arrive at hasty conclusions, especially when dealing 
with a people which have studiously endeavored to mis 
lead and cozen all with whom they come in contact. I 
had rendered them r an important service; they were 
grateful to me for such aid. I had trusted myself unre 
servedly among them, the avowed enemies of my race, 
and they respected me for my confidence. But I was 
still a white man, and they were still Apaches. "While 
professing a certain degree of personal regard, they not 
only refused to admit me within the sanctum of their 
trust, but some of them even began to look upon me as 
endeavoring to gain their confidence for the purpose of 
betraying and using it against them should opportunity 
serve. Fortunately, these suspicions were allayed in the 
course of time, and after a year and a half of constant 
intercourse, during which period they and several thou 
sand Navajoes a branch of the great Apache race 
were under my personal supervision, I was admitted to 
a tolerably fair knowledge of the points under consider 
ation in this work. 
10 



CHAPTER XVII. 

Satisfaction of the Apaches. Policy. Beneficial Results to my Men. Individual 
Responsibility. Short Allowance. The Apache nations Continued. Gen. 
Carleton's Visit. Bishop Lamy. Supplies Received. Apaches Elect a 
Governor. Juan Cojo. Commence Learning the Apache Language. Com 
pile a Vocabulary. Gradually gain Apache Confidence. Renew Acquaint 
ance with Old Enemies. Altered Relations. Former Events Recalled. 
Instruction thrown Away. Apache Ideas of Warfare. Their Horror of 
Work. Influence of their Women. Mescal. Its Intoxicating Qualities. 

THE successful result of our hunting expedition put 
the Apaches in high spirits. They understood that they 
were not to be treated as prisoners of war, in the strict 
sense of that phrase, but were to be allowed the privilege 
of wide and extensive hunting grounds, teeming with 
game; were not interrupted in their social relations, only 
in so far as a rigid police of their camp was required to 
prevent disease, and could live almost as unrestrained 
as in their native wilds, provided they were all present 
or duly accounted for at the stated roll-call, which took 
place every evening at sunset. 

Feeling that many of these privileges had been ob 
tained through my instrumentality, they sought my tent 
daily in great numbers, and seemed inclined to regard 
me as their protector and best friend. As it was well 
known that they were in constant correspondence with 
those of their race who had not surrenderee!, and as the 
members of my company were always detailed for mili 
tary couriers between Fort Sumner, Fort Mason, Fort 
Stanton, Santa Fe, and other points, I judged it pru 
dent to gain the confidence and good will of the Apaches 



LIFE AMONG THE APACHES. 207 

to the greatest possible extent, knowing that their kind 
ness for me W|mld extend itself to the men of my com 
pany, and this'lbelief was afterward fully justified when 
roving parties of Indians happened to meet my couriers. 
Tins occurred on several occasions, when the savages 
were so numerous as to make resistence out of the ques 
tion. They would ride up, examine the soldier atten 
tively, find out that he belonged to my company at Fort 
Sumner, bid him good-by in their best manner, and ride 
off, without attempting to do him harm or deprive him 
of horse or weapons. 

About six months afterward, G-ian-nah-tah, commonly 
called Cadete by the Mexicans, told me confidentially 
that neither myself nor my men would be harmed by the 
Apaches so long as we remained in the country, as those 
in camp felt that they were greatly indebted to us for 
many little kindnesses. This promise w T as carried out to 
the letter, and convinced me that gratitude for services 
rendered is by no means a strange emotion in the Apache 
character. I, however, doubt much if any other white 
man ever had the opportunity, or, having it, ever did 
take so much pains to win the respect and confidence of 
those strange and suspicious people. It will be observed 
that I use the word " those" in the foregoing sentence, 
instead of "that," and simply because each is so per 
fectly independent in all his belongings from all other 
tribes that they cannot be justly classified as a conjoint 
or co-operative race except for purposes of plunder and 
mutual defense when attacked. "When summoned to 
prosecute hostilities, unless against some marauding 
party of Comanches, Navajoes, or other tribes, each in 
dividual is free to join or not as he may see fit. Should 
the enterprise promise plenty of plunder with but little 
personal risk, no trouble will be found to engage all the 



208 LIFE AMONG THE APACHES. 

warriors needed; but, no matter how greatly superior 
their force may be, no precaution for safety is neg 
lected, and no means ignored which promises to secure 
their object without loss of life. It is only when prompt 
and immediate action is necessary that they resign their 
personal independence wholly to the guidance of some 
well known and selected warrior, but the occasion passed, 
that same leader falls back to his original individuality, 
the same as the President of the United States resumes 
his plain citizenship after the expiration of his term of 
office. 

About this time Gen. Carleton instituted rigid inquiries 
as to the quantity of provision on hand in the subsist 
ence departments of New Mexico and Arizona, and from 
the reports made to him, came to the conclusion that 
there would be somewhat of a scarcity before supplies 
could be received. Nearly three thousand Californian 
troops had been thrown into the two Territories, nine 
thousand Indians Apaches and Navajoes had suc 
cumbed to our arms, the country had been overrun and 
devastated by Sibley's column from Texas, no industrial 
nor agricultural pursuits had been re-commenced, and 
absolute want stared everybody in the face. Orders 
were immediately given to shorten the rations, and that 
for the Indians on the Fort Sumner Keservation were to 
be cut down largely. The order was issued to Capt. 
Updegraff, Fifth United States Infantry, commanding 
Fort Sumner, to take effect at a fixed date. Capt. Up 
degraff notified Mr. Labadie, the Indian Agent, of the 
order; Mr. Labadie communicated the fact to me, and I 
immediately waited upon Capt. Updegraff and requested 
him to communicate with the General commanding, and 
state the following arguments: There were nearly nine 
thousand Indians on that one Keservation. They had 



LIFE AMONG THE APACHES. 209 

been subdued by the Californian troops after great exer 
tions, and the Territory rendered comparatively free 
from those terrible Indian raids that for so many years 
had laid it waste from one end to the other; that so long 
as those raids continued the industry of the people 
would be suppressed and crushed out, and that the best 
guaranty which could be given the inhabitants would be 
to retain the savages on the Reservation . This could 
be done so long as they had sufficient to eat. There were 
large numbers of women and children who could neither 
hunt nor obtain their livelihoods by any means except 
through the Government rations, so long as they re 
mained in semi-captivity; that the Reservation farm was 
not yet in a condition to yield the requisite support, and 
that if their rations were diminished, a spirit of intense 
dissatisfaction would display itself in the escape of thou 
sands whom it would be impossible to restrain with our 
very limited force, and that the escaping parties would 
immediately betake themselves to plunder, assassination 
and destructive inroads. I, therefore, begged Capt. 
Updegraff to represent these and other cogent argu 
ments to the General, with a view of having the full ra 
tion continued to the Indians. 

These arguments had weight with the Post Com 
mander, and were by him urged on the attention of the 
General, who immediately perceived their truthfulness, 
and ordered the full ration continued until such time as 
he could make personal investigation. Fortunately an 
opportunity soon occurred, and the General visited Fort 
Sumner with several officers and the Et. Eev. Bishop 
Lamy, Bishop of New Mexico. 

Next day Capt. Updegraff candidly informed the Gen 
eral that I had prompted his letter, and I was summoned 
to the interview which followed. After a careful inquiry 

I 



210 LIFE AMONG THE APACHES. 

and examination of several days, Gen. Carletori arrived 
at the same opinion with myself, and the full ration was 
ordered to be given as before. Six weeks subsequently 
the several Commissaries in the two Territories made 
official returns of their supplies, and it was found that 
their former estimates were far short of the mark. At 
the same time subsistence stores began to arrive from the 
East, and the new crops were being harvested, in peace, 
for the first time for many years. Upon these represen 
tations, orders were issued to restore full rations to all 
the troops, and abundance once more gladdened our ta 
bles. Whether right or wrong, the savages were taught 
by Mr. Labadie to believe that I was the person whose 
agency had preserved them from half rations, and the 
reader can well suppose how much I rose in their esti 
mation. I was appointed grand director of their camps, 
with power to decide all differences and settle all quar 
rels between parties. Every grievance, real or imagined, 
was submitted for my jurisdiction; and, I am proud to 
add, that my administration was regarded with affection 
ate reverence. Those wild and untamed sons and 
daughters of the forests, the plains and the mountains, 
would throng my casita from reveille until tattoo, asking 
a thousand questions and always receiving proper atten 
tion. Among them was a Mexican, about forty years 
old, who had been a captive to their "bow and spear" 
for twenty odd years. He was taken at the age of eleven 
and did not obtain his release until he was past thirty- 
three. That man, Juan Cojo, spoke their language as 
fluently as themselves, and had been engaged as inter 
preter. Juan and I soon became good friends, although 
I must confess that his Apache education had somewhat 
unfitted him to be the most moral character of my ac 
quaintance. Nevertheless, his services were indispensa- 
fl 



LIFE AMONG THE APACHES. 211 

ble, and I induced Gen. Carleton tcv appropriate fifty 
dollars per month additional pay to Juan*<to teach me 
the Apache language. The fellow worked faithfully 
with me for nearly three months, during which time I 
compiled the only vocabulary of the Apache language in 
existence, and forwarded the result of my labors to G-en. 
Carleton, with the view of having it published for gen 
eral use at the different posts in New Mexico and Ar 
izona. The General sent the manuscript to the Smith 
sonian Institution, and it was placed in the hands of 
Prof. George Gibbs for publication iu an exhaustive 
work on Ethnology, to be issued under the auspices 
of the Institution. I have waited several years for its 
appearance, but have not yet seen anything of the kind. 
Perhaps it will some day come to light. In the mean 
time, I received from the Institution an acknowledgment 
of my labors, the chief credit being given to Gen. Carle- 
ton probably because he was General, and I only a 
Captain, subject to his orders. Let that be as it may, I 
felt both pride and pleasure in acquiring a language 
never before spoken by a white man, and I took much 
pains to systematize it as far as practicable, or my abili 
ties could go. In order to be certain about the reliabil 
ity of my novel acquirement, I every day submitted what 
I had learned the day previous to the criticism of the 
leading warriors of the tribe. They expressed much de 
light at my desire to learn and communicate with them 
in their own tongue, and manifested zeal in putting me 
right on all occasions. Nothing was committed to final 
record until it had been fully tested four or five times, 
and I believe the work to be as nearly perfect as could 
be got up under the circumstances. 

This zeal on my part enhanced the favorable opinion 
the Apaches already held toward me, and rendered them 



212 LIFE AMONG THE APACHES. 

unusually communicative. So soon as they found that 
I was anxious to converse with them in their own lan 
guage, and had labored to acquire it, their confidence 
and regard increased in geometrical progression. It was 
not unusual with them, when asking a favor, another 
officer being present, to address me in Apache, and their 
little secrets were never betrayed. The reader will have 
no difficulty to comprehend how, under such circum 
stances, the writer should have gained an ascendancy 
over this most untamable and intensely suspicious of all 
our Indian tribes. It was not the work of a month nor 
of a year, but the experience of several years, aided by 
events which may never happen again. Many of them 
had seen and known me while interpreter of the Boun 
dary Commission under the Hon. John K. Bartlett. 
Some of them were present and took part in that terrific 
chase along the Jornada del Muerto, and they reminded 
me of the event, after they became convinced that I was 
their best friend and harbored no vindictive feelings 
against the parties. While conversing on this matter 
one day, a warrior led to me an old squaw, her two 
daughters and one son, all grown up, the oldest being 
about twenty- two, and informed me that they were the 
wife and children of the man who led the chase against 
me thirteen years before. I received them kindly, and 
asked if they did not think it better for them that I 
should be alive to do them kindness then, than to have 
been murdered by their relatives in 1850. They replied 
by saying, " Yes, much better/' laughing and asking me 
to give them some vermilion a color very highly prized 
by the Apaches. 

On the Eeservation were one or two who happened to 
be at the Copper Mines at the time that Inez Gonzales 
and the two Mexican boys were rescued, as related in 



LIFE AMONG THE APACHES. 213 

preceding chapters, but they never could be made to 
comprehend the justice of those rescues, until I asked 
them "You took those people captive by force, did you 
not?"' 

"Yes; we took them because we were stronger and 
more expert than they." 

"Well, I took them from you for the same reasons. 
We were stronger and more expert than you, and we de 
prived you of your spoil. Suppose you were to meet a 
small band of Comanches with two or three hundred 
horses which they had stolen from Mexican owners, and 
your party were the stronger of the two, would you not 
take their spoil ?" 

" Certainly, because they would do so to us under like 
circumstances." 

"Very well; you would have taken two American Igfds 
and an American girl, if you had met them unprotected, 
I know, because you have done it; and we took not your 
people, but those you had reduced to captivity, and re 
stored them to their relatives. We did not keep them 
for our servants and slaves; but, they being our friends, 
we released them from your grasp when we found them 
in distress. The same* rule you apply to the Comanches 
and all other peoples we applied to you; were we not 
right?" 

The justice and pertinence of these remarks were ad 
mitted with reluctance, for the untutored Apache mind, 
like that of what is called high civilization and refine 
ment, is eminently selfish and obtuse to moral convic 
tion. Extremes meet. 

It was, nevertheless, pleasant to recall the many times 
I had escaped their well-laid plans to deprive me and 
my associates of life or property, and the as many occa 
sions in which they had been foiled in their benevolent 



214 LIFE AMONG THE APACHES. 

intentions. The sanguinary deaths of Mangas Colorado, 
of Cuchillo Negro, of Ponce, of Delgadito, of Amarillo, 
and other renowned warriors, were cited in proof of the 
futility of their efforts to combat successfully against the 
white men. Their then dependence, as prisoners of war, 
their defenseless condition on the Reservation, their 
rapidly decreasing numbers, their disintegrating forces, 
and other like examples, were also pointed out and em 
phasized, and had momentary effect; but the next day, 
after admitting the severe lessons of history, they would 
resume their hauteur and exclaim, "that if they pos 
sessed as good weapons as ours, they could whip us out 
of the country they claimed as exclusively their own." 

The teachings of experience are lost upon the Apache. 
He believes himself the superior being, and frequent ad 
versities are accounted for in so many and plausible 
ways that his self-love and inordinate vanity are always 
appeased. He has shown himself more than a match 
for other barbarous tribes, and for the semi-civilized na 
tives of New Mexico and Arizona. He infers that be 
cause we inhabit the houses of the last mentioned, and 
consort with them freely, in the absence of other society, 
that we are of the same general stamp and character. He 
admits the superior gallantry and prowess of the Amer 
ican race, but attributes them to our confidence in the 
superiority of our weapons. The result is that he uses 
more precaution in approaching the American than the 
Mexican; but this renders his attacks more to be dreaded 
and guarded against, although he never loses sight of 
subtlety and careful consideration in all his movements, 
no matter against whom directed. This is a distinguish 
ing feature of the Apache. If fifty of them were to ap 
proach a single armed traveler they would do so with 
caution. 



LIFE AMONG THE APACHES. 215 

Like all other savages they highly prize physical 
strength and personal courage, but are severe critics in 
reference to the latter quality. When Lord Cardigan 
led the famous charge of the six hundred at Balaklava, 
it was carefully observed by the French Marshal, Pel- 
issier, who exclaimed: "C'est beau, c'est grande, metis, 
c'est ne pas de la guerre." In like manner, the Apache 
regards our reckless onsets as vain and foolish. He is 
in the habit of saying: "The Americans are brave, but 
they lack astuteness. They build a great fire which 
throws out so much heat that they cannot approach it 
to warm themselves, and when they hear a gun fired 
they are absurd enough to rush to the spot. But it is 
not so with us; we build small fires in secluded nooks 
which cannot be seen by persons unless close by, and 
we gather near to them so as to obtain the warmth, and 
when we hear a gun fired we get away as soon as possi 
ble to some place from which we can ascertain the 
cause/' They regard our daring as folly, and think 
" discretion the better part of valor." I am not so sure 
but that they are correct in this idea, as well as in sev 
eral others. 

There is nothing which an Apache holds in greater 
detestation than labor or work of any kind. All occu 
pations unconnected with war or plunder are esteemed 
altogether beneath his dignity and attention. He will 
patiently and industriously manufacture his bow and 
quiver full of arrows, his spear and other arms; but he 
disdains all other kinds of employment. He will suffer 
the pangs of hunger before engaging in the chase, and 
absolutely refuses to cultivate the ground, even at the 
cost of simply sowing the seed; but he is ever ready to 
take the war-path, and will undergo indescribable suf 
ferings and hardships for the hope of a little plunder. 



216 LIFE AMONG THE APACHES. 

Herein lies his credit and fame as a warrior; upon his 
success in such undertakings rests his whole celebrity 
and standing among the squaws whom he affects to treat 
with indifference, but whose smiles and favors are, after 
all, the greatest incentives to his acts. It is a grand 
mistake to suppose that because the Apaches are seem 
ingly indifferent to the condition of their women that, 
because like other savage tribes, they force the burden 
of hard labor upon them, they are not elated by their 
praises or humbled by their censures. On the contrary, 
they are keenly alive to such sensations, and under the 
mask of apparent indifference and assumed superiority 
are quite as susceptible to the blandishments of the fe 
male sex, and to their opinions as regards merits, as the 
most civilized and enlightened of their fellow country 
men white Americans. After a successful raid they are 
received with songs and rejoicings. Their deeds are re 
hearsed with many eulogiums, and they become great, 
in their own estimations, for a while. But if unsuccess 
ful, they meet with jeers and insults. The women turn 
away from them with assumed indifference and con 
tempt. They are upbraided as cowards, or for want of 
skill and tact, and are told that such men should not 
have wives, because they do not know how to provide 
for their wants. When so reproached, the warriors hang 
their heads and offer no excuse for failure. To do so 
would only subject them to more ridicule and objurga 
tion; but, Indian-like, they bide their time, in the hope 
of finally making their peace by some successful raid. 
When it is understood that the Apaches neither sow nor 
plant, that they do not cultivate the ground, that they 
manufacture nothing except their arms, that they de 
pend altogether upon their wars for plunder as a means 
of livelihood with the exceptional occasions of hunting, 



LIFE AMONG THE APACHES. 217 

that their women collect all the mescal for food and in 
toxicating drink, that they dig all the roots, gather all 
the seeds, and make them into food, there will be no 
difficulty in perceiving that the women are their real 
supporters. 

In some branches of the great tribe, residing on the 
head-waters of the Gila, and among the Mescaleros and 
Jicarillas, a very limited amount of planting is done, ex 
tending mainly to maize, pumpkins, squashes and beans. 
Their great dependence is on mescal, the roots of which 
.are collected in quantity, and placed in a large hole dug 
in the ground and highly heated. The mescal roots, 
being deposited, are then covered with green leaves and 
grass, which is in turn overlaid with earth, and a steady 
fire kept burning on top for a whole day. After allow 
ing the mass to remain in this impromptu oven for three 
days, it is unearthed, pared and eaten with great zest. 
It has a sweetish taste, not unlike the beet; but it is not 
so tender, and possesses remarkable anti-scorbutic pro 
perties. In order to make an intoxicating beverage of 
the mescal, the roasted root is macerated in a propor 
tionable quantity of water, which is allowed to stand 
several days, when it ferments rapidly. The liquor is 
boiled down and produces a strongly intoxicating fluid. 



CHAPTER XVIII. 

Dangerous Hunting at the Bosque. Dr. McNulty's Adventure. Don Carlos and 
his Indians. Mr. Descourtis' Adventure. Nah-kah-yen and Nah-tanh. 
Hunting a Lion. The Indian and the Panther. Combat Between a Bear 
and a Lion. The Eesult. Beavers. Apache Love of Torturing. Gallant 
Indian. A Wounded Apache to be Dreaded. 

AMONG the Apaches under my charge were a number 
highly renowned as hunters. Those men seemed to pos 
sess a peculiar sagacity for this business, and whenever 
I indulged in a hunt I invariably took one or more of 
them with me. The Pecos for twenty-five miles about 
the Bosque Redondo is fringed for a half mile in depth, 
on both sides, with gigantic cotton-wood trees, or rather 
it was, for I have since learned that they were nearly all 
destroyed in furnishing fuel to the numerous body of 
Indians collected at Fort Sumner, and for the garrison 
at that place; and in consequence of the scarcity now 
existing, the fort and Reservation have either been aban 
doned by this time, or soon will be, as the Indian De 
partment has already taken steps to locate the Reserva 
tion on a more favorable location. 

The cotton-woods and the dense undergrowth of 
shrubbery, which produced many kinds of wild berries, 
and large fields of wild sun-flowers, abounding with nu- 
tricious seeds, render the Bosque Kedondo a favorite 
abode with wild turkeys, which existed there in great 
numbers, and were exceedingly fat and fine flavored. 
My Apache friends kept my larder lavishly supplied 
with turkeys, grouse, deer, bear and antelope hams, 



LIFE AMONG THE APACHES. 



'219 



and a species of very superior turtle s which is abundant 
in that part of the Pecos river. I have had as many as 
seven live wild turkeys in my corral at one time, and 
quite as many dead ones dressed and hanging up. On 
public days, such as New Year, Christmas, Fourth of 
July, and sometimes on Sundays, my company were fully 
supplied with good things from my private larder. But 
hunting was somewhat of a dangerous pastime in that 
vicinity. Prowling bands of hostile Apaches, Navajoes 
and Comanches were at any time liable to be met, and 
it was safe practice, when double-barreled guns were 
used, to place a dozen well-fitting balls in one's pouch 
and a goodly quantity of heavy buck-shot. Besides, 
what are known as Californian lions, were very plenti 
ful, while catamounts, panthers, grizzly bears, and even 
jaguars were by no means uncommon. The Apaches 
never ventured out unless in sufficient force to resist an 
ordinary attack, until they had resided there some time 
and had made themselves perfect masters of the situa 
tion. On the other hand, the Comanches, with whom 
the Bost[ue Redondo had formerly been a chosen hunt 
ing ground, gradually but reluctantly withdrew, when 
they found out that the Apaches were numerous and 
would be protected by our troops. 

Soon after our first arrival at that spot then a howl 
ing wilderness, ninety miles distant from the nearest 
habitation a commission of engineers, headed by Col. 
A. L. Anderson, was sent down to the Bosque, for the 
purpose of selecting a site for a permanent fort, to be 
called Fort Sunmer, with the view of establishing a large 
Indian Reservation there, and erecting a valuable ad 
vance post on the line of approach from Texas. Among 
our visitors was Dr. J. M. McNulty, then Medical Di 
rector for New Mexico and Arizona, and probably the 



220 LIFE AMONG THE APACHES. 

most popular officer in the "Column from California." 
The Doctor and myself had long been acquainted, and I 
was proud to have the privilege of showing him some 
little attention; but his visit came near being attended 
with fatal results, to him at least. When we left Albu 
querque for the Bosque Redondo, Gen. Carleton sup 
plied us with five semi-civilized Indians from a town 
about eighteen miles distant from Santa Fe, the name 
of which has escaped my memory. The chief of the 
tribe was named Don Carlos, a man about fifty-five years 
of age short, thick-set and resolute. He had visited 
"Washington, New York, Philadelphia, and other East 
ern cities, and had an exalted opinion of the Ameri 
can people. Dr. McNulty, learning that wild turkeys 
abounded in the immediate vicinity, determined to go 
on a hunt for some of those delicate birds, and took one 
of Don Carlos' Indians as a guide. As the distance to 
be traveled was not more than a mile and a half, they 
waited until within half an hour of sundown, and then 
repaired to the roosting place. The birds were fast 
gathering upon the tree, and the Doctor determined to 
wait a little until they got quiet, when he perceived that 
a band of hostile Indians were as eagerly watching him 
as he the turkeys. His guide also became cognizant of 
the fact about the same time, and both turned their 
horses to recross the river and gain our side for, be it 
known, that the banks of the Pecos are from ten to 
twenty-five feet perpendicular descent, and that cross 
ings are only found at rare intervals and the Doctor, 
having crossed, was compelled to seek the same ford for 
his return. The Apaches, for they were of that tribe, 
perceiving his intention, made a bold and concerted 
effort to cut him off, but the Doctor succeeded in foiling 
their plan, and returned safely to camp much faster 



LIFE AMONG THE APACHES. 221 

than he had gone. His ardor to obtain wild turkeys of 
his own killing at the Bosque Redondo was considerably 
cooled by this adventure. 

Another more serious, but very laughable, adventure 
occurred on a turkey hunt a few days afterward. My 
First Lieutenant, Mr. Descourtis, was exceedingly fond 
of the chase, and he joined me about that time, after 
nearly nine months absence from his company, in obedi 
ence to very strict orders from Gen. Carleton. One eve 
ning he determined to go and shoot some wild turkeys, 
and engaged one of the Indians of Don Carlos. About 
an hour after their departure the guide came back howl 
ing with pain, and declared that Descourtis had shot 
him. Upon examination it was found that his posteriors 
were fully pitted with small shot, and upon the return 
of Mr. Descourtis, which occurred about five minutes 
later, that officer stated that his gun had gone off acci 
dentally and shot the Indian. The wounds were pain 
ful, but by no means dangerous, and under the skillful 
treatment of Dr. Gwyther, Post Surgeon, were healed in 
a few days. The Indian subsequently said, that on ar 
riving at the ground he perceived a band of hostile 
Apaches or Navajoes, and warned Mr. Descourtis of 
their presence; but he failed to discover them. The 
guide then told him that he would not risk his life for 
a turkey or two, and started to leave him, when Mr. Des 
courtis became enraged and shot him. I cannot pretend 
to decide between the two, but it is certain that Mr. Des 
courtis brought back no turkeys, and the Indian fetched 
a whole load of shot in his carcass, and both came home 
as fast as their horses would carry them; but the Indian's 
animal having received a liberal supply of the same pel 
lets in his rear, came much the quicker. This event 
greatly disgusted Don Carlos and his people, and it was 



222 LIFE AMONG THE APACHES. 

only with infinite trouble, during the time that the guide 
was under surgical treatment, that I could persuade 
the old man to remain and fulfill his contract. None 
of them could ever be induced to approach Descourtis 
again. 

Among the Apaches was one who particularly out 
shone the rest in the chase. He was a young man of 
about twenty-seven years, named Nah-kah-yen, or the 
"Keen Sighted/' a reputation to which he was fully en 
titled. This man's knowledge of woodcraft, and the 
habits of animals, was really wonderful. He could not 
only perceive an object so distant as to be almost in 
visible, but could distinguish the particular species. 
Nah-kah-yen was of medium height, well formed and as 
active as a panther. He was a sort of dandy among 
them, being always the best dressed, and paid great at 
tention to his hair, which was always kept well combed 
and oiled. His long scalp lock was an especial object 
of attention, and highly ornamented with small silver 
plates, made into little round shields buttons, beads, 
feathers and tinsel. Another of my most trusted favor 
ites was a grim old warrior named Nah-tanh, or the 
"Corn Flower," commonly called Chato by the Mexi 
cans, on account of his large nose which had been broken 
and flattened by the kick of a horse. Nah-tanh was much 
esteemed in his tribe, both as a warrior and judicious 
counselor. He was about forty years old, weighed about 
two hundred pounds; broad and deep-chested, very pow 
erful and very grave scarcely ever deigning to smile. 
His decision in reference to the qualities of a horse or a 
weapon was considered final. He had been one of the 
most dreaded scourges in the country, but having sur 
rendered he professed his determination to abide by his 
promise, and during the whole term of my service in 



LIFE AMONG THE APACHES. 223 

New Mexico lie kept his word faithfully. His imper 
turbable coolness and profound sagacity, especially on a 
bear or lion hunt, proved very serviceable. 

After killing an animal I would give the skin to the 
Apaches to have it dressed for me, and they turned me 
out some elegant deer, lion and beaver skins, softly 
dressed, with the fur perfectly preserved. Having dis 
covered the tracks of a very large lion along the river- 
bottom, I summoned Nah-kah-yen and Nah-tanh to ac 
company me on the hunt for his majesty. Both were 
eager, and we started about ten o'clock A. M. I showed 
them the trail, which they examined carefully for a few 
moments, and then concluded that the animal had a 
haunt in a jungle about five miles below. Without pre 
tending to follow up the tracks we struck off into the 
clear prairie, and went down stream until opposite the 
jungle, when we separated, each one taking a side of 
what we supposed to be the animal's lair, and at a signal 
we approached together. At that place the Pecos is about 
eight feet deep for a couple of hundred yards, when it 
shoals again to one, two and three feet, the river being 
much wider. The jungle was neared with caution, and 
it being about midday, there was good reason to suppose 
that the lion was taking his rest after a night's rambles. 
One large cotton-wood tree flung its branches out wider 
than the rest, while its top overlooked its surrounding- 
comrades. It grew on the very bank of the river, and 
overhung the jungle. Nah-tanh dismounted from his 
horse, which was left free, and being perfectly broken, 
remained quiet where he was left; he then climbed the 
tree referred to and crawled out on a large limb, until 
he was directly over the water and could get a fair view 
of the supposed lair. 

The Californian lion and the panther are both cow- 



224 LIFE AMONG THE APACHES. 

ardly animals, and will rarely stand at bay, even when 
wounded; but there are exceptional cases, and some 
times they will become the attacking parties. While 
Nah-tanh was endeavoring to penetrate the secrets of 
the thicket, he was summoned by Nah-kah-yen to look 
out for himself, and gazing in the direction pointed out, 
we saw a large panther crouching on another limb, not 
more than fifteen feet from Nah-tanh, and evidently bent 
on trying titles with my friend. In an instant Nah-kah- 
yen raised his rifle and took a rapid shot at the beast, 
but the ball only inflicted a slight flesh wound and made 
him hasten his motions, for in another moment he made 
his spring toward Nah-tanh. That wary Apache was 
not to be so easily caught, for the instant that the pan 
ther left the limb on which he had been crouching Nah- 
tanh dropped from his into the water some thirty feet, 
and disappeared under the surface, nor did he rise again 
until he had reached the friendly shelter of the bank, 
out of his enemy's sight. The panther landed on the 
spot so suddenly vacated, and gazed anxiously down into 
the depths below, cracking his tail against his sides and 
clawing great pieces of the bark from the limb. By 
this time Nah-kah-yen had reloaded, and I had come up 
with my breech-loading carbine and two heavy Colt's 
revolvers. We both took good aim and brought the 
beast from his high perch. We soon hauled his carcass 
to land and stripped him of his hide. It was an enor 
mous specimen, measuring nearly seven feet from the tip 
of his tail to the end of his nose. I brought his skin to 
California with me as a souvenir of the occurrence, and 
subsequently made it a present to Philip Martinetti. 
When Nah-tanh surveyed the lifeless body of his late 
antagonist, he smiled grimly and said: " Tagoon-ya-dah; 
shis Inday to-dah ishan ;" which means "Fool; an 
Apache is no food for you." 



LIFE AMONG THE APACHES. 225 

"We were about to return home, when our attention 
was attracted by a terrible noise in a rocky cation, about 
four hundred yards lower down the river. Hastily re 
mounting, we galloped to the place, and after having 
dismounted, approached the canon with caution. Sud 
denly we came upon a very exciting and interesting 
scene. A very large lion, probably the one of which we 
were in pursuit, was engaged in deadly conflict with a 
well-developed brown bear. The lion was crouched 
down about twelve feet from bruin, and the bear was 
standing erect on his hind legs, his forearms protruded, 
and his back against a large rock. His cries were pierc 
ing, and to them we owed the pleasure of being present 
at the combat, which quickly began. The lion watched 
his adversary with intense gaze, his long and sinewy tail 
working and twisting like a large wounded serpent. His 
formidable claws occasionally grappled the rocks and 
gravel, and every now and then he would exhibit his 
terrible teeth and utter a low but significant growl. 
Having reached the sticking point, the lion leaped for 
ward with a fearful rush and grappled the bear. Then 
commenced the most frightful cries from both fur, dust 
and blood flew from each combatant in quantities; biting, 
tearing and hugging were indulged without stint. After 
about two minutes of this terrific strife, the lion sud 
denly released himself and sprang away. Each animal 
then commenced to lick its wounds, the lion having re- 
occupied his former position in front of the bear, and 
evidently bent on " fighting it out on that line if it took 
all summer." The bear was decidedly anxious to get 
away, but did not dare turn his back on his more agile 
adversary. After some ten minutes spent in licking 
their wounds and repairing damages, the lion reassumed 
the offensive, and the bear again placed himself on the 



226 LIFE AMONG THE APACHES. 

defensive. The same scene was repeated, but this time 
the lion had succeeded in tearing open the bear's back 
and drawing his vitals through the gap. The bear fell 
dead, and the lion hauled off once more to lick his 
wounds. Having taken breath, he leisurely proceeded 
to haul the bear's carcass down into the canon and bury 
it with leaves, sand and other debris. Just then I heard 
the crack of a rifle, and the late conqueror tumbled over 
on his side dead, beside the body of his late foe, having 
received a rifle ball just back of the ear from the weapon 
of Nah-tanh, who had by no means forgotten his own 
recent encounter. This beast measured seven feet seven 
inches and a half from the end of his nose to the tip of 
his tail. His skin I also preserved, and afterward pre 
sented it to Major (now General) H. D. Whalen, then 
commanding Fort Sumner, As we had more than we 
could carry, Nah-kah-yen was dispatched to the Apache 
camp to bring some pack horses, and squaws to cut up 
the meat and take it to camp, for the Apaches are rather 
fond of lion and panther meat, but seldom touch that of 
the bear. This was sport enough for one day, and after 
discovering a couple of fine turkey roosts, we returned 
home, quite elated with the result of our hunt. 

Beavers were quite plentiful on the Pecos, about Fort 
Sumner, and we used to enjoy shooting them on fine 
moonlight nights. The Apaches have a great regard for 
the beaver, which they aver to be by far the most saga 
cious and intelligent of animals. The Pecos beavers are 
very large, and in midwinter have an unusually thick, 
heavy and soft fur. Their tails, roasted in ashes, make 
a capital dish, and are much esteemed, but rather too fat 
and musky for most stomachs. The Apaches brought 
me quite a number of young ones, about a week old, but 
milk was difficult to obtain, and I only succeeded in 



LIFE AMONG THE APACHES. 227 

raising one until it got to be three months old and able 
to care for itself, when I released the poor thing by re 
turning it to its tribe. It had become quite a pet, and 
would perform several little tricks with ease. As it was 
brought up among human beings, it possessed none of 
the native fear of man which is so strongly characteristic 
of its race, and it is quite probable that the poor little 
f ellow"subsequently fell a victim to misplaced confidence, 
although I carried it six miles below camp, where there 
was a large beaver dam, before restoring it to freedom. 
The quality of mercy is unknown among the Apaches. 
They frequently take birds and animals alive, but invari 
ably give them to their children to torture. A warrior 
is seized with delight when his son exhibits superior skill 
in this way. He looks on approvingly and makes occa 
sional suggestions to the aspiring youth. The squaws 
are especially pleased with the precociousness of their 
children in the art of torturing. Even their horses are 
not spared, and their dogs may truly be said to lead 
c 'dogs' lives." What we call chivalry is also unknown to 
the Apache, who regards it as sheer folly and useless 
risk of life; yet there are instances of self-sacrifice and 
heroic devotion which would be second to none recorded 
in history, were it not for the fact that in each case the 
hero was mortally wounded before he displayed remark- 
_able bravery for the safety of others. A .badly wounded 
Indian is much more dangerous than one who is not. 
Feeling that he cannot escape, his first object is to kill 
as many of his foes as possible, and protect his own 
people to the last gasp. I have seen a single Apache, 
stationed at the narrow entrance to a defile, receive four 
carbine balls through the breast before he sank on his 
knees, and every time the cavalry charged that man 
would keep back the horses by .dashing a red blanket in 



228 LIFE AMONG THE APACHES. 

their faces. By this heroism and wonderful tenacity of 
life he saved some sixty or seventy of his people, who 
gained time to retreat amidst inaccessible rocks. He 
was only finished by receiving a pistol ball through the 
brain, and continued fighting, single-handed, until fin 
ally dispatched. His bow and quiver of arrows are now 
in the rooms of the California Pioneers. 



CHAPTER XIX. 



Anecdote of Capt. Bristol. Surprise and Admiration of the Indians. They Vote 
Him a Great Medicine. Wonders of the Microscope. Their Modes of 
Hunting. Departure of Ojo Blanco. Apache Dread of Disease. The 
Influenza. Apache Prophet. His Dream and Interpretation. My Coun 
ter Dream and Interpretation. Usefiil Services of Dr. Gwyther. Faith 
fulness of Gian-nah-tah. Necessity of Using Artifice. 



AMONG the many unique incidents which occurred at 
Fort Sumner may be mentioned one, which had a great 
effect among the Indians gathered at that place. The 
Navajoes, who had become captives to the "pioneers" 
of the Column from California, numbered over nine 
thousand, including well known chiefs and distin 
guished warriors, women and children. The Apaches 
proper, who were in like condition, amounted to nearly 
fifteen hundred. This disparity is sufficient to prove the 
superior warlike character of the latter tribe; their in 
vincible determination to "fight it out on that line/ 3 and 
their utter intractability. Capt. H. B. Bristol, Fifth 
United States Infantry, was one of those genial, kind- 
hearted and educated gentlemen who have the happy 
faculty of attaching all within the sphere of their ac 
quaintance. A strict disciplinarian, and imbued with a 
deep-seated love for his profession, he possessed the tact 
of gaining the affections and confidence of his men, as 
well as their implicit obedience to order. The suaviter in 
modo etfortiter in re, for which he became distinguished 
in the command, gradually spread its influence among 
the Indians, who are ever ready to appreciate and recog- 
11 



230 LIFE AMONG THE APACHES. 

nize those characteristics which influence other men. In 
a short time his cabin became a popular resort among 
the nomads, who were delighted with his generosity, 
while he experienced a pleasure in studying their vari 
ous attributes. Capt. Bristol frequently amused his 
friends by sticking pins and needles in various parts of 
his person, driving them in full length without appear 
ing to suffer a particle of inconvenience. One afternoon, 
while his cabin was full of savages, he proceeded to peg 
his pantaloons fast to his thighs with pins, until an hun 
dred or more were imbedded in his flesh, without draw 
ing blood, or provoking any evidence of distress. The 
Apaches and Navajoes were filled with surprise and ad 
miration, while the officers present pretended to be af 
flicted with anxiety. Having succeeded so far, Bristol 
deliberately opened his penknife, and thrust the blade 
alongside of the pins. He then invited the Indians to 
plunge their knives into his body, assuring them that it 
could do him no harm. This last coup de jonglerie com 
pletely upset all their doubts, and with one accord, they 
voted him to be a "great medicine." From that date 
his influence was very considerable, as they believed that 
he could not l?e slain by ordinary means. All this was 
done without ostentation, and in a purely natural man 
ner. No attempt was made to impress the savage visi 
tors with an idea of superiority, and they accorded their 
full homage and respect to the act. Had they been led 
to understand that some extraordinary ability of the 
white man was to be exhibited; had they been told that 
something was to be done in the "medicine" line excel 
ling what they could do, they would have regarded the 
affair with distrust, suspicion and aversion; but it was 
so impromptu and unaffected that their confidence was 
won, and their belief fixed. 



LIFE AMONG THE APACHES. 231 

Quite a number of other innocent devices were re 
sorted to for the purpose of quietly infiltrating the 
Apache mind with a sense of our superiority, but always 
most carefully guarding against any appearance of seek 
ing to contrast American attainment with savage igno 
rance. Their bigotry and self-conceit could not be 
rudely assailed without exciting their natural distrust 
and alarm. They were ready to perceive a "nigger in 
every fence," and were ever on the alert to detect the 
slightest approximation to deceit, or effort to mislead by 
the assumption of higher intelligence. A person once 
discovered in the attempt to make them believe that in 
which he himself had no faith, is immediately and for 
ever tabooed. No subsequent acts or promises of iiis 
could restore their confidence. It was after I had ac 
quired a very fair knowledge of their language that these 
traits became fully apparent, and I made it my study to 
conduct myself in such a manner as to allay all doubts. 

I possessed a very good microscope, which I had pur 
chased from a French priest, and also an excellent sun 
dial, with several other instruments, such as burning- 
glass, field-glass, compass, several maps of New Mexico, 
etc. The anxiety to show the wonders of these instru 
ments to my untutored visitors was very great, but I felt 
the imprudence of so doing until occasion could serve, 
when it would appear the result of their application, and 
not of my ostentation. 

One day, while receiving instruction from Juan Cojo, 
my preceptor in the Apache language, I suddenly pre 
tended that it was necessary for me to examine a minute 
object whose conformation was somewhat indistinguish 
able to the naked eye. Juan watched me with intense 
interest as I uncased the microscope and placed beneath 
its focus the body of a common flea. I was careful not 



232 LIFE AMONG THE APACHES. 

to ask him to view the object, feeling convinced that his 
own curiosity would induce him to make the request. 
After I had gazed attentively for a few seconds, Juan 
asked what I was looking at, and I told him that I had 
an instrument which made a flea look as large as a mule 
and showed me his whole conformation. He immedi 
ately expressed a desire to see this monster, and after 
being accorded a good, long look, he exclaimed : ' ' Madre 
de DIGS, que cosa tan hororosa!" which means, mother 
of God, what a horrible thing. In this manner we went 
through half a dozen objects, each of which elicited ex 
pressions of unbounded surprise from Juan, who com 
menced to regard me as a magician of power and influ 
ence. In this way the train was laid for further confi 
dence on the part of the savages, to whom Juan related 
the whole affair, because I had never employed such 
means to assert claims to their respect, and had appar 
ently striven to keep my possession of them from their 
knowledge. They seemed to have got their information 
by accident, and I allowed them to press me frequently 
before I yielded to their request for a look through the 
wonderful instrument of which they had heard from 
Juan. Their admiration was also excited by the burn 
ing-glass, field-glass, etc. ; and when I took out the maps 
and explained to them all about portions of the country 
which they knew well, but I had never visited, they be 
gan to think that nothing was hidden from our knowl 
edge if we only took the pains to consult our magical 
instruments. 

During all the time of our intimate relations, I was as 
great an inquirer into their funds of information as they 
were into that which I possessed. I was regularly in 
ducted into their modes of hunting, and taught where 
and when the desired game might be expected. The art 



LIFE AMONG THE APACHES. 233 

of tracking was also sedulously shown me, but this re 
quires very long and constant practice. Their code of 
signals by smokes, stones, broken branches, etc., was 
explained with apparent delight, in the conviction that 
the white man could learn something from them. 

The force at Fort Sumner was so ludicrously small, in 
comparison with the number of Indians to be controlled 
and guarded, that I am convinced the savages would 
never have remained so long as they did had it not been 
for the extreme vigilance employed, and the peculiar 
policy adopted. . In fact, within six months after my de 
parture, Ojo Blanco, a famous Apache, took French 
leave of Fort Sumner, after having induced a goodly 
number of others to keep him company, and it was not 
long before nearly all the rest of his tribe followed the 
example. 

Nothing can induce the Apaches to remain an hour in 
the place where one of them has died from disease, and 
they give a wide berth to all localities where Apaches 
have been "known to give up the ghost from any cause. 

The nearest town was Anton Chico, nearly ninety 
miles distant, and there were quite a number of well- 
known villages ranging from one hundred to one hun 
dred and thirty miles northwest, west and southwest 
from the fort. The influenza was raging in the settle 
ments, and had become epidemic. A great many chil 
dren and quite a number of adults in the Mexican towns 
fell victims to the disease, which had assumed a malig 
nant type. It soon made its appearance among the 
Apaches, but Dr. Gwyther, assisted by myself as inter 
preter, was unremitting in his attention, and by timely 
and judicious efforts, prevented the disease from being 
fatal in a single case, although nearly all were more or 
less affected. A wily and rascally old Apache, who had 



234 LIFE AMONG THE APACHES. 

wielded great influence among them as a medicine man, 
seized upon the occasion to sow disaffection and discon 
tent. He upbraided them for their servile obedience to 
the whites, covered them with reproach for having 
yielded their absolute independence, and taunted them 
in every conceivable way. These things were told me by 
Gian-nah-tah, Nah-tanh, Natch-in-ilk-kisn, and Nah-kah- 
yen, but the fact of their telling me was sufficient to 
prove that the prophet was not to be feared, and I coun 
seled them to keep quiet and let me know all that passed, 
but on no account to acquaint their comrades with the 
secret of their having told me anything about such pro 
ceedings, v^ 
One day Gian-nah-tah stated that the prophet had held 
a great gathering the evening before, at which he had ex 
plained a vision. The time selected was about midnight. 
The Apaches sat in a dense circle, in the center of which 
stood the prophet dressed in the savage decorations of 
his sacred office. His eager auditors were informed that 
he had been blessed with a vision in whicn he saw a 
black cloud about the size of his blanket. The cloud 
rose gradually from the west and increased as it rose in 
darkness and magnitude, until it covered a large space. 
Its course was directed toward the Apache camp, over 
which it hovered and then descended until the camp was 
completely enveloped within its Cimmerian folds. The 
interpretation of this vision was that the black cloud 
represented the anger of the Great Spirit, and that he 
had sent it among the Apaches to slay them with disease 
for having remained captive to the Americans. He 
threatened that if they did not all leave at the earliest 
possible opportunity, not one would be saved from the 
anger of the Great Spirit. It may well be supposed 
that such an announcement from their most noted med- 



LIFE AMONG THE APACHES. 235 

icine man at a time when a terrific epidemic was raging, 
would have an immense influence among those savage 
and extremely superstitious people. 

My determination what to do was immediately taken, 
and without intimating to Gian-nah-tah what my inten 
tion was, I bade him convoke the whole camp on the 
following night, as near midnight as possible. The 
moon was very brilliant, and the air clear and perfectly 
still. I placed a couple of six-shooters and my knife in 
my belt, and cutting a hole for my head in the center of 
a sheet, invested myself with that article as if it were a 
toga. When the Apaches were all assembled, and won 
dering why they were got together, I suddenly made my 
appearance among them, and taking position in the cen 
ter, addressed them to the following effect. I told them 
that I had been favored with a vision, full of importance 
to them, and as they had appointed me their " Tata/' or 
Governor, it had been imparted to me for their benefit. 
I said that two nights previous their prophet had seen a 
black cloud, which grew larger and blacker as it ap 
proached the Apache camp, over which it settled until 
it was concealed from sight; but that a lying spirit had 
been put into his mouth, and the true meaning of the 
vision had been withheld from his knowledge. In my 
capacity as their Tata, it had been revealed to me, with 
directions to impart it to the tribe. 

They knew, I added, that the Angel of Death had been 
very busy among the Mexican towns and villages, cut 
ting off the men* women and children, and sparing 
neither age nor condition. But who among you, said I, 
have died ? Where is the wife that mourns for her hus 
band, or the mother for the child, or the warrior for 
those that are dear to him ? Not one of your number is 
missing, and all of you are now well or nearly well from 
the attacks of this infirmity which has killed so many. 



236 LIFE AMONG THE APACHES. 

Now, the true rendering of the vision is this : The Great 
Spirit has seen with satisfaction that you have kept your 
promise, that you no longer exist by robbery, that you 
do not murder the incautious traveler, that you live here 
happily and well supplied with every comfort, and are 
cared for by skillful medicine men when you are sick; 
and in reward for your excellent conduct, the Good 
Spirit said I have sent the Angel of Death abroad in 
the land and he knows nothing but to destroy, for that 
is his mission. My Apache people have done well and 
must be preserved, and to shield them from the vision 
of the Destroying Angel, I will wrap them in a dark 
cloud which his eyes cannot penetrate; then will he pass 
them by, and they shall live because they have kept their 
promise to the Americans. This, I added, is the true 
rendering of the vision seen by your prophet, and I am 
come here to tell you, in order that his evil counsel may 
not prevail and lead you to destruction. 

The reader can conjecture the rage of the prophet and 
the profound astonishment of the whole tribe, except 
Giaii-nah-tah. No one but he knew that I possessed any 
information on the subject, and, of course, not a soul, 
the prophet included, doubted the reality of what I had 
said. The contemplated hegira came to a sudden end; 
the Apaches returned to their allegiance with more will 
ingness than before, and our intercourse became more 
harmonious than ever. For my part, I was far better 
satisfied with the result than if we had been compelled 
to use force and slay a hundred or two of the savages 
before again impressing them with the necessity for obe 
dience. The prophet lost his influence, while we gained 
in proportion. 

The foregoing incident conveys its own moral, and 
shows the virtue of using artifice instead of force, when 
artifice has to be met. 



CHAPTER XX. 



The Apache Language. Its Kemarkable Regularity and Copicmsness. Examples 
Given. Reflections. How Apaches are Named. Apache Beauties. Dis 
inclination to tell their Apache Names. 



ELSEWHERE it has been stated that my vocabulary of 
the Apache language had been forwarded to the Smith 
sonian Institute through Gen. Carleton, and that it had 
been handed to Professor George Gibbs for the purpose 
of being incorporated in his forthcoming work on Eth 
nology. As it was the only copy in my possession, I 
am compelled to rely solely on memory for the very un 
satisfactory skeleton I am able to offer in this chapter. 
It will, however, serve to convince the reader of the su 
perior intelligence of the Apache Indians as compared 
with nearly all other tribes of American savages, while it 
places them at the head of races purely nomadic. 

Many of the African, Australian, North and South 
American tribes, and those who inhabit the Pacific Oce- 
anica, together with several of Asia, cannot count beyond 
ten, but the Apaches count ten thousand with as much 
regularity as we do. They even make use of the decimal 
sequences. With us the number one has no correlative. 
It is unique in expression as well as in meaning, but 
when we come to two, we say two, twelve, twenty, two 
hundred; with the numeral three for a starter, we say 
thirteen, thirty, three hundred; and again, four, four 
teen, forty, four hundred, and so on up to ten, when the 
process is repeated by referring to the same root numeral 
11* 



238 LIFE AMONG THE APACHES. 

from which, the higher number derives its name. In like 
manner the Apaches use a unique word to express one, 
and another to mention eleven; but all the rest are de 
rived from the root name of the numbers between one 
and ten. This will be seen from the subjoined table of 
their numerals: One is called lash-ay-ay ; two, nah-kee; 
three, Tcah-yay; four, twi-yay; five, asht-lay; six, host-kon- 
ay; seven, host-ee-day; eight, hah-pee; nine, en-gost-ay; 
ten, go-nay-nan-ay. But on arriving at eleven they use 
an entirely different word, and say klats-ah-tah-hay , which 
never occurs again, either in part or in whole, until they 
reach eleven hundred, which is klats-at-too-ooh. When 
twelve is to be expressed recourse is had to the nah-kee, 
or two, which is then enlarged into nah-kee-sah-tah. In 
like manner thirteen is derived from kah-yay, three, and 
becomes kah-yay-sah-tah. After ten until twenty their 
numbers are named as follows: Eleven, klats-ah-tah-hay; 
twelve, nah-kee-sah-tah; thirteen, kah-yay-sah-tah; four 
teen, tin-sah-tah-hay ; fifteen, asht-lay-sah-tah-hay ; sixteen, 
host-kon-sah-lah-hay ; seventeen, host-ee-sah-tah-hay ; eigh 
teen, sam-pee-sah-tah-hay ; nineteen, en-gost-ee-sah-lah-hay ; 
twenty, nah-tin-yay. It will be observed that after four 
teen the aspirated syllable hay is added, and this is for 
the sake of euphony, as well as the change from hah-pee, 
eight, to sam-pee in eighteen. It will also be observed 
that nah-tin-yay, twenty, receives its derivation, like nah- 
kee-sah-tah, twelve, from nah-kee, two ; and this is regu 
larly observed in the following numbers: For instance, 
thirty is called kah-tin-yay; forty, tish-tin-yay ; fifty, asht- 
tin-yay; sixty, host-kon-tin-yay; seventy, host-ee-tin-yay ; 
eighty, sam-pee-tin-yay ; ninety, en-gost-ee-tin-yay; one 
hundred, too-ooh, after which comes nah-kee-too-ooh, two 
hundred; kah-y ay -too-ooh, three hundred, etc., until one 
thousand, which is expressed by go-nay-nan-too-ooh, or 



LIFE AMONG THE APACHES. 239 

ten hundred; two thousand is termed nah-Jcee-go-nay- 
nan-too-ooh, etc. 

Here we have evidence sufficient to prove that the 
Apaches must have possessed objects of sufficient im 
portance and numbers to have compelled the creation of 
terms by which the number could be indicated. In the 
absence of any other object furnished by the region they 
inhabit, it is fairly presumable that the numerical strength 
of their race was the impelling cause. 

Their verbs express the past, present and future with 
much regularity, and have the infinitive, indicative, sub 
junctive and imperative moods, together with the first, 
second and third persons, and the singular, dual and 
plural numbers. Many of them are very irregular, and 
depend upon auxiliaries which are few. In all that re 
lates to special individuality the language is exacting; 
thus, shee means I or me; but shee-dah means I myself, 
or me myself; dee means thee or thou; but dee-dah means 
you yourself especially and personally, without reference 
to any other being. When an Apache is relating his 
own personal adventures he never says shee, for I, be 
cause that word, in some sense, includes all who were 
present and took any part in the affair; but he uses the 
word shee-dah, to show that the act was wholly his own. 
The pronouns are: Shee I; shee-dah I myself; dee 
thee or thou; dee-dah thee thyself; -aghan it, he, her, 
or they. The word to-dah means no, and all their affirm 
atives are negatived by dividing this word so as to place 
the first syllable in front and the second in the rear of 
the verb to be negatived. For example, inlc-tah means 
sit down, but to say, do not sit down, we must express it 
to-ink-tah-dah; nuest-chee-shee , come here; to-nuest-chee- 
shee-dah, do not come here; anah-zont-tee, begone; to- 
anah-zont-iee-dah, do not begone, and so on throughout 
the language. 



240 LIFE AMONG THE APACHES. 

The word tats-an means dead in Apache; "but they never 
employ it when speaking of a dead friend, but say of him 
that he is yah-ik-tee, which means that he is not present 
that he is wanting. If one goes to an Apache's camp, 
and inquires for him during his absence, the visitor is 
answered that he is yah-ik-tee, or gone somewhere. This 
usage, while speaking of their deceased friends, is not so 
much due to delicacy and regret for their loss as to their 
superstitious fears of the dead, for they entertain an im 
plicit belief in ghosts and spirits, although I could never 
trace the causes for their credence. In alluding to an 
animal destroyed in the chase, so soon as the mortal blow 
is given they exclaim, yah-tats-an, now it is dead; but if 
it should only be wounded, and rise again, it is said, to- 
tats-an-see-dah, it is not dead. 

Whenever an object is shown them for the first time, 
they adopt its Spanish name which is made to terminate 
with their favorite guttural, hay. Formerly they knew 
no difference between the values or qualities of iron, 
silver, copper, brass or gold. Their name for iron is 
pesh, and the several metals were distinguished by their 
colors. Silver was called pesh-lickoyee, or white iron; 
gold, pesh-klitso, or yellow iron; bat after learning the 
difference in their values and uses, they adopted the 
Spanish terms, and silver became plata-hay, gold changed 
to oro-hay, and brass was suffered to retain the appella 
tion of pesh-klitso , or yellow iron. 

As the Apaches build no houses, and rarely remain 
more than a week in any one locality, the place of their 
temporary abode receives its name from their word kunh, 
which means fire; so that to express a camp, or a few 
twigs tied together for shelter, we must say kunh-gan- 
hay, meaning fire-place. TVIany of their words depend 
entirely upon their accent for individuality of meaning. 



LIFE AMONG THE APACHES. 241 

Kali is the word for an arrow, and also for a rabbit, but 
when the latter is intended, it is necessary to give a 
strongly aspirated sound to the lc, rolling it from the 
throat with marked expression. The term ah-han-day 
means afar off, a long way; but if the speaker intends to 
convey the idea of great distance, he must emphasize 
and dwell upon the last syllable, and pronounce the 
word ah-han-d-a-y . The word schlanh means much, a 
good deal; but to represent a great deal, an unusually 
large quantity, we must say schlan-go, with the accent 
on the last syllable. 

As it is not contemplated to insert the Apache vocab 
ulary in this work, the foregoing illustrations must suf 
fice to convince the reader that for a race so purely 
nomadic, their language is in advance of many others 
spoken by uncivilized races residing in villages and en 
gaged in semi-pastoral and agricultural pursuits. 

Apache warriors take their names from some marked 
trait of character, personal conformation, or noteworthy 
act. Until one of these features be developed to such 
extent as to be prominent, the youth is called ish-kay- 
nay, a boy. The women are named in like manner, but 
as they are deemed altogether inferior, many of them 
are without particular designation, but are addressed or 
spoken of as isli-tia-nay , or woman. The names of some 
of the more eminent warriors on the Fort Simmer Reser 
vation will convey the best idea of this subject. There 
were Gian-nah-tah, which means "Always Ready," and 
was admirably descriptive of the man's character. The 
name given him by the Mexicans was Cadete. Then 
came Nah-tanh, or the "Corn Flower," so called from 
having on one occasion, while on a raid in Sonora, com 
pletely hidden himself and party in a field of corn near 
the large town of Ures, and succeeded in running off 



242 LIFE AMO^ T G THE APACHES. 

two or three hundred head of horses. On one occasion 
he received a kick on the nose from one of the captured 
animals, which had the effect of flattening that feature 
over a considerable portion of his naturally unattractive 
countenance. From this accident the Mexicans dubbed 
him El Chato. A tall, stately fellow, rejoiced in the 
name of Natch-in-Uk-kisn, or the "Colored Beads," of 
which he always wore a thickly-worked and stiff collar 
around his throat, and bracelets on his wrists. Nah-kah- 
yen means the "Keen Sighted," and was so baptized be 
cause of his wonderful powers of vision. Too-ah-yay- 
say, the " Strong Swimmer," got his title from a narrow 
escape from drowning in the Bio Grande, while endeav 
oring to cross it with a band of stolen horses. After a 
desperate struggle, in which several of the animals were 
lost, he succeeded in reaching the shore and effecting 
his escape with the rest from a large pursuing party of 
Mexicans, who did not dare venture into the swollen 
and turbid flood, ^f quiet, easy-tempered and good- 
natured fellow was known as Para-ah-dee-ah-tran, mean 
ing the "Contented." One old sagamore received the 
sobriquet of Klo-sen, or the "Hair Rope," for having 
lassoed and killed a Comanche during a fight between 
the tribes, with one of those cabeslros. His arrows had 
been expended, and possessing himself of the arms of 
his slain enemy, Klo-sen contributed greatly toward win 
ning the fight. Pindah-Lickoyee, or ""White Eye," was 
a noted warrior, who got the appellation from the un 
usually large amount of white around the small, black, 
flashing pupils of his eyes. His Mexican title was Ojo 
Blanco. 

As before remarked, few of the women are ever hon 
ored with names ; but there are some who have decidedly 
poetical appellations. Among them was a very bright 



LIFE AMONG THE APACHES. 243 

and handsome girl of eighteen or nineteen, who had in 
variably refused all offers of matrimony. She was light 
colored, with strictly Grecian features and exquisitely 
small feet and hands. Her eyes were large, black and 
lustrous, while her figure was magnificently developed, 
and her carriage redolent with the grace and freedom of 
the wild girl of the sierras. She was known as Sons-ee- 
ah-ray, which means the "Morning Star." Another, 
likewise indifferent to marriage, was called Ish-kay-nay , 
the "Boy," from her torn-boy character and disposition. 
There was one who received particular honor from the 
other sex, but her Apache name has escaped my memory. 
She was renowned as one of the most dexterous horse 
thieves and horse breakers in the tribe, and seldom per 
mitted an expedition to go on a raid without her pres 
ence. The translation of her Apache title was, the 
" Dexterous Horse Thief." They do not call themselves 
"Apaches," but Shis-Inday, or "Men of the Woods," 
probably because their winter quarters are always lo 
cated amidst the forests which grow upon the sierras, 
far above the plains, and while they afford fire and shel 
ter from the wintry blasts, enable them to observe all 
that passes in the vales below. 

The foregoing names are somewhat suggestive of 
Apache character; so much so, indeed, that it is not un 
usual for them to refuse giving their Apache names when 
interrogated; but will endeavor to give some Mexican 
appellative in its place. Before marriage the girls are 
much the handsomest and most perfectly formed of any 
Indian tribe I have ever seen; but after bearing children, 
and performing for three or four years the onerous duties 
imposed upon them by their husbands, they soon wither 
and shrivel up, becoming thin, muscular and wrinkled 






CHAPTER XXI. 

Chastity of Apache Women. Wantonness of the Navajoes. Comparison Insti 
tuted. Curious Customs. A Feast and Dance. Ceremonies. DiTration 
of the Feast. Depilorizing the Eyes. Apache Marriages. Style of Court 
ship. Coquetry. Horses as Money. The Bower of Love. Affected Bash- 
fulness. Apache System of Polygamy. Customs Regulating Marriage. 
Nah-tanh's Views. Burials. Funeral Ceremonies. Apache Reserve. 
Small-Pox. Capt. Shirland. Fort Davis. Fight with Apaches. Indians 
Whipped. 

AMONG those who have enjoyed the best opportunities 
for judging, the award for female chastity is given to the 
Apaches. During a period of about two years, when 
hundreds of them were under our charge, and mingling 
freely with our troops, not a single case occurred, to the 
best of my knowledge, wherein an Apache woman sur 
rendered her person to any man outside her tribe. Cases 
of conjugal infidelity are extremely rare among them, 
and the girls take no ordinaiy pride in guarding their 
purity. The art of coquetry is practiced among them 
with quite as much zest- as among the belles of our cities, 
and with such delicacy and tact, that the most refined 
among us might possibly study at a worse school. On 
the other hand, the Navajoes are extremely loose anfl 
sensuous. Although of the main branch of the great 
Apache tree they differ in tribal organization, in their 
manufacture of superb blankets, in their courage and 
address, and in the fact that they keep large flocks of 
sheep, and cultivate the earth. In all other respects 
they are pure Apaches. Female virtue is little regarded 
among them, but is deemed of primary importance among 



LIFE AMONG THE APACHES. 245 

the Apaches proper. When an Apache girl has reached 
the second year of her puberty the fact is widely circu 
lated, and all present are invited to a grand feast and 
dance. She is then deemed marriageable and open to 
the solicitations of the young warriors. On such occa 
sions the girl is dressed in all her finery. Small bells 
are hung to the skirts of her buckskin robe and along 
the sides of her high moccasins, which reach the knee. 
Bits of tinsel are profusely scattered all over her attire, 
until she is fairly weighed down by the quantity of her 
ornaments. Meat in abundance is cooked after their 
fashion, and the guests partake of it ad libitum. Twilt- 
kah-yw, an intoxicating beverage, is freely distributed. 
A dried ox-hide is laid upon the ground, and some of 
the more noted musicians entertain the company with 
improvised songs, while others beat time upon the ox 
hide with long and tough sticks. The noise of this 
drumming can be heard for two miles on a clear, calm 
night. Old warriors meet and recount their exploits; 
young ones ogle and court the marriageable girls; old 
women delight in cooking the supper and furnishing it 
to their hungry applicants. Suddenly a shout is raised, 
and a number of young men, variously attired in the 
skins of buffaloes, deer, cougars, bears, and other beasts, 
each looking as nearly natural as possible, make their 
appearance, and commence dancing to a regular meas 
ure around a huge central fire. The women pretend to 
be greatly alarmed at this irruption of beasts; the men 
seize their weapons and brandish them with menacing 
gestures, to which the human menagerie pays no sort of 
attention. Finding their efforts to intimidate futile, they 
lay aside their arms and join in the dance, which is then 
made more enjoyable by the intermingling of the young 
girls. In the meantime the one in whose honor all these 



246 LIFE AMONG THE APACHES. 

rejoicings are given, remains isolated in a huge lodge, 
in which are assembled the sagamores and principal 
warriors of the tribe. She is not allowed to participate 
in, or. even see what is going on outside; but listens 
patiently to the responsibilities of her marriageable con 
dition. This feast lasts from three to five days, accord 
ing to the wealth of the girl's father. After it is finished 
she is divested of her eyebrows, which is intended to pub 
lish the fact that she is in the matrimonial market. A 
month afterward the eye lashes are pulled out, one by 
one, until not a hair remains. The reasons for this ex 
traordinary despoliation I have never been able to learn, 
and I doubt much if the Apaches themselves can assign 
any cause for the act beyond the exactions of custom. 
But this system of depilorizing the brows and eyes is not 
confined to the women; it is universal among the war 
riors, nor could any arguments of mine induce them to 
forego the practice. It probably arose from a desire to 
look unlike any other people, and to add to their fero 
ciousness of aspect. 

Marriage among the Apaches also has its singular 
ities, and is not unworthy of special mention. The girls 
are wholly free in their choice of husbands. Parents 
never attempt to impose suitors upon their acceptance, 
and the natural coquetry of the sought-for bride is al 
lowed full scope. These are their halcyon days, for 
after marriage "comes the deluge." Any amount of 
ogling, sly pressing of hands, stolen interviews, etc., 
is gone through with, just the same as with us, until 
the suitor believes his "game made," when he proceeds 
to test his actual standing, which is invariably done 
as follows: In the night time he stakes. his horse in 
front of her roost, house, hovel, encampment, bivouac, 
or whatever a few slender branches, with their butt ends 



LIFE AMONG THE APACHES. 247 

in the ground and their tops bound together, may be 
termed. The lover then retires and awaits the issue. 
Should the girl favor the suitor, his horse is taken by 
her, led to water, fed, and secured in front of his lodge; 
but should she decline the proffered honor, she will pay 
no attention to the suffering steed. Four days comprise 
the term allowed her for an answer in the manner re 
lated. A ready acceptance is apt to be criticised wdth 
some severity, while a tardy one is regarded as the ex 
treme of coquetry. Scrircely any of them will lead the 
horse to water before the second day, as a hasty per 
formance of that act would indicate an unusual desire to 
be married; nor will any suffer the fourth day to arrive 
without furnishing the poor animal with its requisite 
food and drink, provided they intend to accept the 
suitor, for such a course would render them liable to the 
charge of excessive vanity. 

With us the possession of gold and silver indicates the 
enjoyment of wealth. Gold and silver are the recognized 
mediums of exchange for goods, and are called money; 
but with the Apaches a horse is money, and the value of 
any article is regulated by the number of horses which 
it may bring. Of course, the animal must be sound, and 
not over ten years of age, and no farrier among us is 
more skillful in these matters than they. 

The lover, having been accepted, it becomes his duty 
to determine how many horses her parents are willing to 
receive for their daughter, it being mutually understood 
that the animals are given as a recompense for her serv 
ices to the family. In exact proportion to the number 
of horses given, her worth and attractiveness are exalted. 
If a girl is sold for one animal, no matter how good, she 
is deemed of little account quite plebeian, and by no 
means of the bon ton by the rest of those present, and 



248 LIFE AMONG THE APACHES. 

I am not so sure that our expression, "a one-horse af 
fair/' did not take its rise from this Apache system of 
graduated values. 

On the third night of the feastings and junketings in 
cident to the marriage, the bride and bridegroom sud 
denly disappear. During the whole of the time men 
tioned, they have been constantly in the presence of the 
sachems and wise squaws of the tribe, and are never per 
mitted to even speak with each other. But love is far 
more watchful than precaution, and when the old people 
are overcome by drowsiness, incident upon long wake- 
fulness and frequent potations, the young couple man 
age to make their escape, usually with the connivance of 
their seniors, who pretend to be quite innocent of the 
matter. 

Several days prior to his marriage the bridegroom se 
lects some beautiful and retired spot, from three to five 
miles from the main camp, and there he erects one of 
the shelters already described, but festooned with wild 
flowers, and generally embowered among the trees in a 
place difficult to discover. Thither he retreats with his 
bride, a sufficiency of provision having been laid in to 
last them a week or ten days, and there they take up 
their temporary abode. Their absence is expected, and 
re-appearance creates no visible recognition, as it is 
deemed indelicate to make any open demonstration on 
such occasions. The young bride assumes the air and 
pretenses of extraordinary modesty, and in the event of 
meeting one of her former associates, invariably turns 
her back or hides her face, and puts on all the simper 
of an American girl of twenty years ago not iiow-a- 
days when accused of having a lover. 

In a week this seeming bashfulness gives place to the 
regular and arduous duties of the Apache wife, and her 



LIFE AMONG THE APACHES. 249 

life of toil and slavish suffering commences. The war 
rior may at any time repudiate his conjugal companion, 
and her chances for a second marriage consist in her 
reputation as a good worker, or fo,r her personal attrac 
tions. In either case, she experiences no difficulty in 
obtaining a second, and even a third or fourth husband, 
but her market depends upon her prominence in these 
respects. Should there be any children, it becomes the 
reputed father's duty to provide for their support, and 
he, in turn, imposes that responsibility upon his other 
wives. The women are by no means averse to sharing 
the affections of their lords with other wives, as the in 
creased number lessens the work for each individual, 
but the place of honor is always assigned to the one who 
was the first married, irrespective of age. 

The custom of polygamy was not always in vogue 
among the Apaches. A celebrated warrior, and one 
wise in the traditions of his people, told me that time 
was when only one woman was deemed the proper share 
of one man, but their losses by war, and other causes, 
had so reduced the number of the males that it was 
judged politic to make a change in this custom. He 
farther added, that he thought degeneracy had been 
produced by its adoption, and that the individuals of the 
tribe had become more alienated from each other. He 
rejoiced in but one wife with whom he had lived twenty 
years, and although she had fallen into the "sere and 
yellow leaf," he preferred her to all the young and more 
attractive women. She had borne him two fine sons and 
a daughter, all of whom were alive and well, and she 
possessed the experience requisite to make him a con 
tented husband. His oldest son was a warrior, and his 
father's best friend and associate. He deprecated the 
system of polygamy, and thought that it would eventu- 



250 LIFE AMONG THE APACHES. 

ally emasculate and destroy the independence of his 
tribe. This was Nah-tanh, and his views were fully sec 
onded by Klo-sen, and several others, but they could 
not hold their own against the practices of Gian-nah-tah, 
Natch-in-ilk-kisn, and other prominent and more licen 
tious men. These recitals will serve to show that the 
Apaches, although the most nomadic, savage and un 
tamed of all races, have nevertheless pondered over some 
of the most abstruse and perplexing social problems of 
the highest civilized races. 

In respect to burials I could never succeed in discov 
ering but very little, and that little not at all of a satis 
factory character. On this point they are absolutely 
unapproachable, and invariably succeeded in foiling any 
scheme I planned for a more thorough knowledge on the 
subject. It is certain that they abhor cremation, and 
resort to interment, and their burials are all performed 
at night only by a few selected warriors. I have reason 
to believe that their dead are conveyed to the most con 
venient height, and deposited in the ground, care being 
taken to so shroud their bodies with stones as to prevent 
the wolves and coyotes from digging them up and muti 
lating their remains. Everything of which the defunct 
died possessed is scrupulously placed in the grave, but 
with what ceremonies, and under what observances, I 
have never been able to discover. The demise of a war 
rior provokes an excessive demonstration of woe and 
general sense of serious loss; the death of a squaw is al 
most unnoticed, except by her intimate friends and per 
sonal female relatives. Whatever external signs of grief 
they may practice among themselves when in a state of 
absolute independence and freedom, were never exhib 
ited in presence of others while under the restraints of 
subjection and obedience to our dictates, and opportu- 



LIFE AMONG THE APACHES. 251 

nity to witness them at other times was at no time vouch 
safed to ine or any other person I ever met. It has never 
been within my power to solve the reasons for this ex 
treme caution; and all my inquiries failed to unlock the 
doors of Apache reticence on this subject. The nearest 
definition I ever arrived at was given me by old Klo-sen, 
the same who instituted so many questions in reference 
to the earth's sphericity, the formation of clouds, the 
causes for rain, etc. 

This reflecting and experienced warrior told me that 
the reason why they buried all the worldly goods of dead 
people with their bodies, was because of a strange disease 
which broke out among them several years before he was 
born, and carried off great numbers. It was found that 
to use the clothing or household property of the de 
ceased, or to come in contact with such person, was al 
most certain to result in a like sickness to the individual 
doing these things, and that the rule was adopted to 
bury with him or her every single thing that the defunct 
possessed at the time of death, and all that he or she 
might have used or touched before that event. But he 
strictly forbore from telling me anything more, although 
I made every effort to draw him out. It occurred to me 
that the disease alluded to was the small-pox, for there 
were plenty of evidences that it had raged among the 
Apaches in some past period. That they know what 
this disease is, and comprehend its nature, to some ex 
tent, can be exemplified by the following incidents : 

Gen. Carleton dispatched Capt. E. D. Shirland and his 
company, C of the First California Cavalry Yolunteers, 
to retake >Fort Davis, in Texas. Upon Shirland's arrival 
he found the fort deserted by the Confederates; but also 
discovered that they had left three men behind who had 
been seized with small-pox. Those poor fellows were 



252 LIFE AMONG THE APACHES. 

abandoned to their fate; but the Confederate troops had 
scarcely left the place before the Apaches arrived, and 
with their usual caution they made careful inspection 
before trusting themselves into the building. In the 
course of their investigations they discovered the three 
sick men, and recognizing the disease with which they 
were afflicted, filled their bodies full of arrows shot from 
between the iron bars of the windows; and without at 
tempting to enter the fortress, went on their way toward 
their own fastnesses. A few days afterward, Shirland, 
at the head of twenty-five men, encountered over two 
hundred of those same Apaches at the place known as 
"Dead Man's Hole," and killed twenty-two of them 
without sustaining any other loss than that of a single 
carbine. 



CHAPTER XXII. 

Apaches as Warriors. Fight with the Maricopas. Fight with the Comanches.- 
CoW. Weather. Apache Camp Attacked by Hostile Navajoes. Navajoea 
Pursued and Destroyed. Animals Recovered. Carillo and the Navajo. 
McGrew and Porter. Their Gallantry. Apache Ideas of Scalping. Grand 
Apache Parade. Strange Request. Denied. Purification of Arms. The 
Prophet again Making Trouble. Apache Cavalry Manoeuvres. Reflections 

SEVERAL fine opportunities were vouchsafed me to judge 
of the Apaches as warriors, when compared with other 
tribes. Some ten or twelve of them made a daring raid 
on the westernmost Maricopa village, just at a time when 
I was passing with my company. The Maricopas and 
Pimos armed themselves in great numbers, and hurried 
out to punish the invaders who had sought refuge in a 
dense chaparal, just at the foot of the mountain range 
which creates the Great Grila Bend. Thither they were 
pursued and invested on three sides. The conflict waxed 
warm, and several of the allies were wounded; but not 
an Apache could be seen. The brush was riddled with 
balls, and after a short council of war, it was assaulted 
in great force, but their wily enemies had managed to 
make their escape without the loss of a man. 

A gentleman of New Mexico told me that he once wit 
nessed a fight between eighty Apaches and one hundred 
and fifty Comanches, in which the former gained a de 
cided victory. The contest was entirely on horseback, 
and the parties were equally armed. It occurred on the 
plain known as the Llano Estacado, or " Staked Plain/* 
east of the Pecos river. Exhibitions of rare skill in 
12 



254 LIFE AMONG THE APACHES. 

horsemanship occurred during this conflict which were 
admirable to behold. 

In January, 1864, the weather at Fort Sumner was 
very cold, Fahrenheit's thermometer being ten degrees 
below zero at eight o'clock in the morning. The Apaches 
under our care were then encamped about three miles 
south of the fort, on the eastern bank of the Pecos. 
They possessed quite a number of horses, in which con 
sisted their whole wealth. One night, about twelve 
o'clock, Major Whalen was roused by the guard, who 
informed him that a deputation of Apaches were present, 
earnestly desirous of making some communication. An 
audience was immediately granted, and the Apaches in 
formed the commanding officer that their camp had just 
been visited by a large band of marauding Navajoes, and 
their stock driven off. They came for aid to recover 
their animals. It happened that nearly the whole of my 
company the only cavalry force a the fort were ab 
sent on a scout at the time, and only about twelve re 
mained with some of the most used-up horses belonging 
to the company. Nevertheless, the men were immedi 
ately ordered to saddle up and place themselves under 
command of Lieut. Newbold, while a company of United 
Spates Infantry, under the command of Capt. Bristol, 
was ordered to follow the cavalry with all speed. These 
forces were assisted by twenty-five Apache warriors, un 
der the conduct of Gian-nah-tah, that being the greatest 
number tke Apaches could mount since the Navajo raid. 
The trail led due south, and about seven o'clock in the 
morning the cavalry and Apaches came upon the retreat 
ing Navajoes, who were all on foot except those mounted 
on the animals stolen from the Apaches. The band 
numbered about one hundred and eighty, of whom about 
sixty werfr mounted. So* soon as their pursuers came 



LIFE AMONG THE APACHES. 255 

into view they halted, formed, and prepared for fight. 
Newbold and his small party of twelve cavalrymen and 
twenty-five Apaches advanced rapidly toward the Nava- 
joes until within eighty yards, when the latter opened 
fire all along their line. This was answered by a closely 
delivered volley from a dozen carbines, w r hich knocked 
over nine Navajoes at the first fire. The weather was so 
extremely cold that although the men found no difficulty 
in recharging their breech-loading carbines, yet they 
could not place the caps upon the nipples, their fingers 
were so benumbed. Fortunately, the Navajoes were in 
the same dilemma. The order to draw pistols and charge 
was given, and the allies went down among the Navajoes 
like a small tornado. In less than ten minutes their 
line was broken, and the enemy in full retreat. 

The Apaches had likewise abandoned the use of their 
rifles, and betook themselves to their bows and arrows, 
and lances. The retreat soon became a rout. Each 
trooper had two first-class Colt's six-shooters, and used 
them with terrific effect. The moment a Navajo fell he 
was pierced full of arrows by the Apaches, and never 
suffered to rise again. The whites took the lead, but 
their savage allies seconded them with great courage 
and undaunted gallantry. For an engagement in which 
so few were present, the slaughter was terrific. No less 
than ninety Navajoes were stretched dead upon the 
ground, and so many others wounded that some of the 
party w T ho afterward surrendered and placed themselves 
upon the Reservation, informed me that only twenty of 
the whole Navajo force ever arrived safely in their coun 
try. In this very remarkable engagement, neither our 
troops nor the Apaches lost man nor horse. Sixty-five 
of the stolen animals were recovered and restored to 
their owners. 



256 LIFE AMONG THE APACHES. 

It subsequently appeared that the Navajoes were 
greatly incensed at the Apaches on the Keservation for 
having surrendered themselves, and entered into peace 
ful understanding with the Americans, and the raid had 
been undertaken in revenge for this apparent perfidy. 
Our allies were highly elated at their triumph, and also 
conceived a more positive idea of the gallantry and 
prowess of Californian cavalry, for whom they had al 
ways entertained a high respect, coupled with a whole 
some dread. As I was absent on a scout with the re 
mainder of my company, I took no part in this affair, 
but arrived at the fort the day after its occurrence, and 
heard the same reports from all concerned. A visit to 
the battle-field, only fifteen miles off, satisfied me as to 
the number of slain Navajoes, and the subsequent rela 
tion of the survivors corroborated the narratives of the 
victorious parties. 

Among the assailants were Mr. Labadie, the Indian 
Agent, and a man named Carillo, the major-domo of the 
Indian farm at Fort Sumner. Both these men were 
eminently courageous, and both did splendid service. 
Carillo had been a captive among the Navajoes, years 
before, and spoke their language, the same as the 
Apaches, with tolerable fluency. During the fight he 
hailed a retreating Navajo v and said to him: " Halt, and 
surrender. I do not wish to kill you. Here are num 
bers of your people in our camp, who have given them 
selves up, and are now living in peace and comfort, with 
plenty to eat." The Navajo replied: "Am I not a man 
as well as you? If you can kill me do 'so; if not, I will 
try to kill you. Surrender I never will." At this re 
sponse Carillo raised his rifle and fired, putting a half 
ounce ball through his foe; but the fellow staggered on 
at considerable speed, until his rifle was reloaded, when 



LIFE AMON-G THE APACHES. 257 

he whirled about and let fly at Carillo, the ball passing 
in close proximity to his head. Having re-charged his 
rifle, Carillo again cried out': "Did I not "tell you; will 
you now halt or must I shoot you again ?" The Navajo 
made no other answer than to again raise his gun and 
shoot at Carillo, who, being untouched, again sent a ball 
through his foe. This second shot brought him to a halt, 
when he sat down, and throwing away his rifle, com 
menced to use his bow and arrows. At this juncture a 
soldier rode up and sped a six-shooter ball through the 
Indian's breast, which did not kill him, but had the ef 
fect of distracting his attention from Carillo, who slipped 
round behind the savage, and seizing him by the hair, 
plunged a large bowie-knife in his heart. While in the 
death agony this warrior said to his slayer, tu no vale 
nada, meaning, "you are good for nothing." This in 
cident, and another related elsewhere, demonstrate the 
extreme tenacity of life possessed by the Apaches and 
Navajoes, and I doubt not, by most of our American sav 
ages. This engagement was signalized by many acts of 
valor and cool courage on the part of our men. Privates 
McGrew and Porter followed the retreating savages for 
ten miles, killing fifteen more of them. McGrew him 
self slew no less than thirteen Navajoes that day. 

It may as well be mentioned here, that the Apaches 
do not scalp all their enemies. After a considerable en 
gagement they will select one or two scalps for the per 
formance of a ceremony somewhat allied to the ' ' scalp 
dance " of other tribes, but in most respects totally dif 
ferent. With them it is a strictly religious ceremony, 
growing out of their superstitions; while among other 
races it is observed as a grand rejoicing, a triumphal 
jubilee. Four days after the fight above narrated the 
Apaches were observed to be dressed in their greatest 



258 LIFE AMONG THE APACHES. 

finery. About eighty of their most noted warriors were 
mounted, and each was armed with a lance, from which 
streamed a small red pennon. Every member of this 
party was enveloped in a red blanket, given by the Gov 
ernment a short time previous, and they were formed in 
close column of twenty men front and four ranks deep. 
After going through a variety of manoeuvres, they rode 
directly toward the fort, and halted a few yards in front 
of the commandant's residence. That officer, Major 
"Whalen, requested me to inquire into their wishes, 
which I did, and was answered by Gian-nah-tah that 
they desired permission to visit the field of the late battle 
for the purpose of obtaining a Navajo scalp, in order to 
perform some religious rites imposed upon them by their 
prophet, who, by the by, was the same wily rascal that 
had attempted to lead them astray by his pretended 
vision of the black cloud. To this request Major Whalen 
bade me reply, that it was entirely impossible to accede; 
that they had behaved like brave men during the fight, 
and that they should not tarnish their gallant deeds by 
acts of intense barbarism. He further added, that their 
enemies, being defunct, were past all sensation, and that 
stripping them of their scalps was an act of atrocious 
cowardice, of which he had not believed his Apache 
friends susceptible. He had given them credit for gal 
lantry; but if they persisted in their demand, he, and 
all of us, would be coerced into the conviction that they 
were not animated by true courage. He would, there 
fore, forbid them from visiting the battle ground for the 
purpose named. 

This reply evoked the extreme anger of the prophet, 
who immediately informed the band that, unless the 
ceremony took place, they and their people would be 
visited with the vengeance of the Great Spirit. At this 



LIFE AMONG THE APACHES. 259 

they became much excited, and reiterated their request, 
stating that but one scalp "was required to fulfill their 
obligations to the Most High. Major Whalen remained 
immovable, and gave me orders to get my company in 
readiness immediately to frustrate any such attempt on 
the part of the Apaches, at the same time instructing me 
to inform them of this order,. They heard me through 
with Indian patience, and then, with undisguised ex 
pressions of hate against the commanding officer, rode 
down the rfver in solid square until they arrived at a 
point about three miles, below the fort, where the cere 
monies, I am about to relate, were solemnized. 

My company had been got ready, pursuant to order; 
but were kept in waiting, at the fort, until it should be 
come certain that the Apaches were determined to visit 
the battle ground. Accompanied by two chosen men I 
kept about four hundred yards in their rear, but never 
intruded upon their privacy. Having reached a point 
where the bank of the Pecos descended gradually to 
ward the stream a very rare occurrence in that river 
they wheeled to the right, and having reached the water, 
formed line, the right toward the south, while the prophet, 
dismounting from his horse, entered the stream, about 
knee deep, and commenced a series of incantations, the 
warriors preserving profound silence . Having performed 
the rite of ablution upon his own person and arms, he 
proceeded to the warrior at the southernmost end of the 
line, and received from him the weapons he had used in 
the fight above mentioned. The lance blade, the knife 
and the arrow heads were bathed in the stream, and 
then dried with a cloth, after which they were pointed 
upward, and the prophet, with a strong expiration, blew 
upon their respective blades, beginning at the hilts and 
ending at tke points, at the same time muttering a series 



260 LIFE AMONG THE APACHES. 

of incantations, accompanied by the groans and apparent 
contrition of the owner of the weapons. This system of 
purgation was gone through with everj^ warrior present 
who had been in the conflict. When the ceremony came 
to an end the band separated into four distinct parties, 
and went through a sort of sham fight, which lasted half 
an hour. They then reformed in the order they came 
and returned peaceably to camp. 

I subsequently inquired of several of their more prom 
inent men the objects contemplated in these ceremonials, 
and was told that the spirits of the dead would haunt 
them unless wafted away by the breath of the prophet. 
The blood shed by them was supposed to be washed off 
only by the power of their medicine man; but the ghosts 
of the slain were laid by blowing them away from the 
weapons by which they had died. This power was vested 
solely in the prophet, but the ceremony was incomplete, 
because they had no scalp. It was necessary to have 
one, from which each warrior should take a few hairs 
and burn them, in order that the fumes might purify the 
atmosphere of the battle ground and prevent it from 
being pestilential to the Apaches. Having been denied 
the privilege by Maj. Whalen, they could no more hunt 
in the direction of the field where' the Navajoes had 
fallen without jeopardizing their personal safety, either 
from disease or other causes. 

This incident confirmed my opinions in regard to the 
superstitious ideas of the Apaches, and induced me to 
make many inquiries on the subject, but they were never 
advanced as if from mere motives of curiosity, but rather 
as being desirous to learn something which might be 
beneficial. On no occasion did I ever permit myself to 
intrude an innate sense of American superiority over 
their savage ignorance, but approached them as a seeker 



LIFE AMONG THE APACHES. 261 

after knowledge which they alone could impart*. This 
course nattered their vanity and opened to me sources of 
information which I might otherwise have sought in vain. 
Nothing was lost by this seeming dependence. They 
knew as well as I that they were no match for Ameri 
cans, but nothing could bring them to confess the fact. 
They perfectly understood and appreciated the differ 
ence between us, but it was beyond human nature to 
think that they would acknowledge that difference. That 
an American officer, placed in charge of their camp, 
should seek information from them should endeavor to 
comprehend their laws, nature, habits, language, man 
ners, religion, and other ceremonies was something so 
new and unexpected, that they involuntarily opened 
their hearts and laid them comparatively bare, but never 
for a moment did they forget to exercise caution and re 
serve, even while accepting these advances. They inva 
riably apply a test of acts, and refuse to put faith in 
words which are systematically used by them k> cover 
their designs; but the ordeal passed, they are prepared 
to give limited credence to promises. 



CHAPTER XXIII. 

Ojo Blanco Wounded. Apache Doctoring. Dr. Gwyther'a Treatment. Results. 
Ojo Blanco Killed in Battle. Religious Creed of the Apaches. Policy in 
their Religion. The Deluge. Apaches Ignorant of their Origin. Their 
Ideas in Reference to Women. Mexican Women as Wives of Apaches. 
Character of their Children. Horrible Spectacle in Cooke's Canon. A few 
Suggestions. Their Respect for Traditions Upset. 

ONE day, while conversing with Dr. Gwyther, infor 
mation was brought us from the Apache camp that Ojo 
Blanco had been desperately wounded in a personal 
quarrel with another Apache. We immediately pro 
ceeded to the camp, where I arrested the assailant and 
sent him to the guard house, while the Doctor visited 
the wounded man, where I soon joined him. Ojo Blanco, 
or Pin-dah-lickoyee, meaning the "White Eye," was 
surrounded by a dozen or more of his mourning acquaint 
ances, who were keeping up a concerted howl or chant, 
in obedience to the directions of their prophet. The 
Doctor, seeing that perfect repose and quiet were indis 
pensable to the patient, requested me to order his friends 
away, with instructions not to return. To rudely break 
through the traditions of their tribe and superciliously 
set aside the dictates of their "great medicine," was a 
delicate task, so I directed the orderly in attendance to 
send me, from my company, ten well armed and well 
mounted soldiers, with a Sergeant and a Corporal. In 
fifteen minutes the Sergeant reported and requested his 
orders, which were to keep vigilant guard over the shel 
tered cabin of Ojo Blanco, and under no pretense to al- 



LIFE AMONG THE APACHES. 263 

low an Apache to enter, or permit one to make a noise 
in the vicinity, but to admit only the hospital nurse who 
would be sent to tend on the wounded man. Having 
given these orders, and seen the guard properly disposed, 
I told the Apache mourners to quit the place, and not to 
come back until permitted by the doctor. They had no 
ticed the arrival of the troops, and knew that something 
unusual was brewing, and when this mandate was given 
them they left, very reluctantly and with sad foreboding, 
but quietly and in order. In a few days Ojo Blanco 
gave evidence of improved condition, and his former 
mourners were admitted to see him, but commanded to 
make no unusual demonstration. Three weeks subse 
quently the wounded man was again walking around the 
camp, an object of wonder to his people. 

The reasons for these extraordinary precautions arose 
from the fact that the injured person was one of the 
most celebrated warriors of his tribe, and exercised very 
great influence. His was also the first case of the kind 
that had come under our cognizance; moreover, I sus 
pected that the rascally prophet would use his death, 
had it occurred, to stir up the dissatisfaction of his peo 
ple on the Reservation, and induce their fugitive depart 
ure, to engage again in their accustomed depredations. 
It also afforded an opportunity to exhibit the white man's 
skill and his interest in the Apaches, for Dr. Gwyther, 
after examining the wound, pronounced it severe, but 
not necessarily mortal. It will be seen that with proper 
precaution and judicious nursing, we had the whole 
thing in our hands, with the opportunity of further in 
creasing Apache confidence and respect. 

It is due to Ojo Blanco to say that his first visit, after 
his recovery, was paid to Dr. Gwyther and myself, ex 
pressing to each his fervent acknowledgments. In less 



264 LIFE AMONG THE APACHES. 

than six weeks after my recall from New Mexico, this 
noted warrior fled from the Reservation at Fort Sumner, 
accompanied by over two hundred other men, women 
and children. I learned that he was subsequently killed 
in a battle with the Calif ornian Volunteers. 

My conversations with prominent warriors and saga 
mores on the subject of religion were very frequent and 
protracted. The Apaches believe in the immortality of 
the soul, but they also place credence in two divinities, 
the one of Good and the other of Evil, between whom 
power is so evenly balanced that it is beyond the faculty 
of man to determine which is the greater, although the 
ultimate superiority is credited, without hesitation, to 
the Good Spirit, but they modify this superiority in so 
far as we are concerned, by curtailing the activity and 
interest which the Good Spirit takes in OUT behalf; while 
the Spirit of Evil is represented as being infinitely watch 
ful and interested in the affairs of the Apache people. 
The Spirit of Good is in the distant future; but the 
Spirit of Evil takes part in our daily and hourly affairs. 
The result is that while they look up to the God of Good 
with extreme reverence and ultimate trust, their orisons, 
or usual petitions, are made to the divinity which they 
suppose to shape their earthly ends. This may be called 
the excess of barbarism and heathenish mythology; but, 
permit me to ask, is there any difference between the 
untutored and savage Apache and the apparently chris 
tianized, civilized, and refined man of the world? Does 
not the latter put off his worship of Jehovah and take to 
that of Mammon quite as fully and steadfastly as the 
Apache endeavors to conciliate the spirit which he be 
lieves will yield the most immediate and material re 
sponse to his prayers? It is not mine to answer this 
question; let men's consciences those who have any 
respond for themselves. 



LIFE AMONG THE APACHES. 265 

The Apaches have no tradition whatever of the flood. 
They are quite ignorant of their origin, and unhesitat 
ingly state that they have always lived in the same 
country, and been the same unmixed people. They 
pride themselves on the purity of their blood, and al 
though they admit that many of their wives have been 
captured from Mexico, yet they affirm that it is not the 
woman, but the man, who bequeathes tone, character 
and speciality to the child. In addition to which they 
assert that no Mexican woman who has become the wife 
of an Apache, and remained so until she has borne him 
children, ever desires to renew her former life. That 
this last assertion is true, experience has sufficiently 
proved to my comprehension; but the reasons are clear. 

In the first place, there is but a modicum of difference 
between the actual condition of the women in the north 
ern frontiers of Mexico and that of the Apaches. In each 
case it is she who does all the work, and undergoes all 
the servitude to which women are condemned among 
semi-civilized races. In the second place, after having 
born children for an Apache her affections are concen 
trated upon her offspring more than upon the savage 
author of their birth, and she will not abandon them 
under almost any circumstances. In the third place, she 
knows that her restrained and protracted residence 
among the Apaches would subject her to rude, inhuman 
and opprobrious comments among her fellow country 
women should she return although their own lives 
may be the exemplars of all that is vile and prostituted. 
It is not, therefore, difficult to conceive that the captive 
Mexican woman, the wife of a noted warrior, should 
cling to family relations of her own conception, whether 
forced or not, in preference to those which may have 
formerly occupied her attention as being natural. 



266 LIFE AMONG THE APACHES. 

People everywhere, and of all stages of refinement, 
accommodate themselves to the circumstances by which 
they are surrounded, and it is not ungenerous to permit 
the same privilege to the ignorant, docile and demoralized 
Mexican women of the lower classes. "Let him who is 
without sin cast the first stone." But it is proverbially 
true that from this mixture of races arise the most bloody, 
cruel and revengeful of American savages. The genuine 
Apache, after having killed his foe will leave his body to 
be desecrated and mutilated by his half-Mexican off 
spring, should such be present. It is true, that he will 
not interfere to prevent such outrage; but he seldom 
takes part in it himself, unless influenced by unwonted 
excitement; but when he does, he proves himself the mas 
ter spirit, and his treatment is carried to the extent of 
savage excess. Precisely as the cat or terrier dog teaches 
its young how to catch and torment their prey, does 
the Apache instruct his disciples. In their heathenism, 
and barbarous ignorance, the dead bodies of their enemies 
are mutilated, and left in localities where they are sure 
to be found, to convey a sense of dread rather than from 
any innate disposition to deface that which they know to 
be insensible to their acts. 

Their philosophy and treatment of the captive is en 
tirely different. In such a case their savage and blood 
thirsty natures experience a real pleasure in tormenting 
their victim. ^ v , e expression of pain or agony is 
hailed with delight, and the one whose inventive genius 
can devise the most excruciating kind of death is deemed 
worthy of honor. One of the most cruel spectacles ever 
presented to nrf^aze occurred in Cooke's Canon, about 
twenty-eight miles east of the Mimbres river. A party 
of eight well armed Mexicans, accompanied by their 
families, and having seven wagons with eight mules to 



LIFE AMONG THE APACHES. * 267 

each wagon, were on their way from Sonora to Cali 
fornia. They had some money, and expected to convert 
their mules and wagons into cash upon their arrival. 
They had already traversed the more dangerous portions 
of the Apache country, and had commenced to felicitate 
themselves, when they were set upon by nearly two hun 
dred savages in Cooke's Canon. The Mexicans defended 
themselves with undaunted courage, which forced the 
Apaches to take refuge in their accustomed cunning. 
Suddenly ceasing their assault, they informed the Mexi 
cans that they had no desire to destroy their lives, add 
ing, that the Mexicans could perceive from the superior 
numbers of their enemies, and their vantage ground, that 
it would be no very difficult task to effect such an object, 
had it been contemplated. They then said, that if the 
Mexicans would surrender their arms, and give them half 
the number of mules attached to the wagons, they might 
prosecute their journey in peace with the remainder. 
This proposition was accepted by the inexperienced Mex 
icans, and so soon as their savage enemies had obtained 
control of their arms, each man was seized, bound to the 
wheel of a wagon, head downward, about eighteen inches 
from the ground, a fire made under them, and their 
brains roasted from their heads. The women and chil 
dren were carried off captive, and the train with its con 
tents became a prey to the Apaches. As I was the first 
to pass through Cooke's Cafion after this affair, the full 
horror of the torture was rendered terribly distinct. The 
bursted heads, the agonized contortions of the facial 
muscles among the dead, and the terrible destiny certain 
to attend the living of that ill-fated party, were horribly 
depicted on my mind. 

It is all very well to argue* that the Indian knows no 
better that he merely possesses the teachings of his 



268 * LIFE AMONG THE APACHES. 

rdfce, that his cruelties are the results of untaught savage 
disposition, etc.; but the real questions are: must we 
continue to endure the perpetration of such atrocities, 
simply because they are committed by uncivilized beings; 
is it true policy that intelligent, Christian people should 
be sacrificed, year after year, and their massacres ex 
cused on the ground that the murderers were only In 
dians? Is the special plea of the self-styled humanita 
rian, who knows nothing about the matter, to set aside 
the life-long experiences of other equally humane but 
more practical and experienced men ? Mfrst we forever 
continue to accept the wild and impracticable theories of 
parlor readers on Indian character? Can we continue 
to pay millions annually for the short-sighted and per 
nicious policy which has heretofore regulated our Indian 
affairs? The American savage is no idiot. He knows 
right from wrong, and is quite as cognizant of the fact 
wben he commits a wrong as the most instructed of our 
race. If the reader should feel a particle of doubt on 
this point, all he has to do is to commit a wrong upon 
an Apache, and he will very soon become convinced 
that the savage is quite as much aware of the fact as he 
can be. 

It is even criminal to contend that they do not distin 
guish the full difference between the two qualities. 
Their dealings with each other, and their conduct to 
ward other races, prove that they do, and to an extent 
almost commensurate in this respect with our own sys 
tem of morals. The capacity to discriminate between 
right and wrong is not the exclusive property of chris 
tianized people.- It obtains with almost equal force 
among barbarians and heathens, for otherwise commu 
nities could not exist. Whenever the Apache commits 
an act of atrocity, he does so with design and intention, 



LIFE AMONG THE APACHES. 269 

and not from any ignorance as to whether it is a good 
or bad deed. He knows all about that as well as if he 
had attended Sunday School all his life; but it is done 
with an object a purpose which his untutored mind 
cannot perceive the effect of when weighed in the balance 
of the instructed in letters. When an Apache mutilates 
the dead body of his enemy, he knows that he is doing 
a wrong and cowardly act; but he persists in doing it, 
because he judges us from his stand-point, and imagines 
that sight of the mutilated corpse will produce terror in 
the beholders. He has not arrived at that amount of in 
formation which would instruct him that disgust and 
anger, with a determination for redress at the earliest 
opportunity, are engendered instead of dread. Like 
the rest of mankind, he is apt to measure other people's 
corn by his own bushel. 

In respect to traditions they are very tenacious; but 
an incident occurred, when I enjoyed a favorable oppor 
tunity, to demonstrate the utter uselessness of relying 
upon such testimony. "After having acquired their lan 
guage, the idea suggested itself that it would be good 
policy to make them an address in the Apache tongue. 
To this end I composed a short oration, and, to be cer 
tain of the terms used and the pronunciation, I sum 
moned Giaii-nah-tah, Nah-tanh and Klo-sen, to whom I 
read my speech, requesting them to make the necessary 
corrections, which they did with undisguised pleasure. 
Having everything exactly right, a meeting of the lead 
ing Apache warriors was convoked at my cabin to hear 
my address in their own language. It can be readily 
understood that such an extraordinary announcement 
insured a full gathering of the invited warriors; and, 
after some preliminary ceremonies, I read the lecture, 
which was listened to with earnest attention. I took 



270 LIFE AMONG THE APACHES. 

particular pains to impress them with the importance of 
remembering what I said, as it was my intention to de 
mand from them a repetition of my words, or their tenor, 
in a few days from that time. They were also requested 
to convey the substance of my remarks to those who 
were not present, as I intended to investigate for myself 
the value of oral tradition. Three days subsequently I 
collected G-ian-nah-tah, Klo-sen, Nah-tanh, and one or 
two other leading men, and taking each one aside sepa 
rately, I asked him to repeat what I had said on the oc 
casion referred to above. Some of them came very near 
stating the tenor of my remarks, while others gave very 
erroneous versions; but when it came to questioning the 
parties who had received my speech second-hand from 
those who had heard it, I could scarcely recognize my 
own offspring. Having listened carefully to all their 
statements, I again read the original production, which 
was immediately acknowledged as genuine. 

Now, said I, you can comprehend the unreliability of 
your traditions. If you cannot remember, for even three 
days, the substance of so short an address, and if it be 
comes so mangled by being related from one to another 
that its .original meaning is entirely perverted, what 
faith can be placed in those traditions which you say 
came down to you through so many generations ? This 
question, enforced as it had been by a notable example, 
was unanswerable, and it was followed up by pointing 
out the difference between oral and written tradition. 
This paper, I said, holding up the manuscript of my 
speech, will remain for generations exactly as it is now, 
and should it be preserved for a thousand years, it will 
read, at the expiration of that time, precisely as } 7 o*u have 
just heard it read. 

My hearers were wonderfully impressed with the truth 



LIFE AMONG THE APACHES. 271 

of these words; but when I endeavored to imbue them 
with the necessity of learning to read and write, so that 
they might be able to create written history, with one 
accord they refused, on the ground that it was work and 
consequently degrading. This abhorrence is so deeply 
rooted in their minds as to be a part of their nature, and 
no efforts of ours can remove it. Wherever an Apache 
child has been taken captive, and converted into a serv 
ant or domestic, it is only by extreme precaution that 
they can be restrained from running off and leading a 
vagabond life, and, if possible, rejoining some portion 
of their tribe. 

Among those who were present at the above mentioned 
reading was the wife of Para-dee-ah-tran, who was also 
the daughter of Gian-nah-tah. This woman deserves 
special mention. Even in the most elevated circles of 
refined society it would be difficult to find one who 
possessed more grace, disunity and elegant self-repose. 
She was above the medium height, and of very fair com 
plexion, although a full blooded Apache. Every motion 
and posture was replete with modesty and innate good 
sense. She was always well and comely clad; but never 
indulged in the tawdry finery and tinsel so much prized 
by other Apache women. Her figure was lithe and sym 
metrical; her hair long, black and glossy, and suffered 
to grow without being subjected to the process of cut 
ting even with the eye-brows, which had been ruthlessly 
plucked out. It was parted in the middle, and smoothed 
away from the brow with as much taste as could be ex 
hibited by any of our ladies. Her eyes were very large, 
black and lustrous, with a decided modesty of expression. 

This woman was the pet of her tribe, and possessed 
characteristics in harmony with her exterior superiority. 
She was never permitted to perform hard labor, and her 



272 LIFE AMONG THE APACHES. 

hands were delicately small and well formed. She was 
several times invited, with her husband and father, to 
dine with the officers, by whom she was much respected, 
and invariably conducted herself with an ease and dig 
nified propriety which astonished her hosts. Her Indian 
name has escaped my memory, but its definition in Eng 
lish is the " Stately One/' It must, however, be borne 
in mind that hers was a solitary exception, and so con 
sidered by all of her own people. There were manj very 
handsome young girls among them, but none like the 
e( Stately," who, instead of being an object of envy, pos 
sessed their unbounded admiration and respect. 



CHAPTER XXIV. 

Apache Endurance. Inroad. Extensive Traveling. "Wild Horses. El Cupido. 
Passes in New Mexico. Heavy Snow. Cold Weather. Change Base. 
Indians Break Cover. Continued Snow-storm. Go in Pursuit. Rough 
Ride. Indians Overtaken by Mr. Labadie. Navajoes Whipped and Plun 
der Recovered. Overtake and Protect Labadie. Hunt for Navajoes. 
Labadie Arrives Safely at Fort Surnner. Conchas Springs. Intense 
Cold. Indians' Indifference to Cold. Apache Method of Running Sheep. 
Great Distances Accomplished. 

ALLUSION has been made to the wonderful endurance 
of the Apache race, and it now remains to give some 
proofs of the fact. 

Having received orders to make a scout of not less 
than thirty days duration, I sallied out with thirty-four 
men in December, 1863. Having learned that a large 
band of Navajoes and Apaches had crossed the Bio 
Grande and invaded New Mexico, where they had sub 
divided into small parties of eight and ten each, in order 
to carry on their operations with more security, and de 
vastate a greater range of country, it became necessary 
to wait until the scattered companies had reassembled, 
and were about to leave the Territory with their plunder 
before operations presenting any decisive result could 
be inaugurated with reasonable hope of success. It 
was known that the district upon which they had entered 
offered only tw T o direct modes of egress, one or both of 
which must be selected, or the band would be compelled 
to make a circuit of twelve hundred miles before regain 
ing home, and a considerable portion of this extensive 
march was to be passed over the Llano Estacado, which 



274 LIFE AMONG THE APACHES. 

was frequently favored with the presence of Comanche 
war parties, from whom no favor could be expected on 
any terms. Instead, then, of pursuing the scattered 
fragments of the invaders, our march was directed to 
ward a point from which the two passes, that of the 
Alamo Gordo Yiejo, and that of the Pajaro, could be 
watched, so as to intercept the savages when leaving 
with their accumulated plunder. 

Our guide was the best in the country. He united an 
intimate knowledge of localities with an excellent sense 
of Indian character, and their modes of operating. The 
first portion of our march was over an extensive rolling 
prairie, deeply seamed with gulches, which compelled 
us to make wide detours. Several bands of wild horses 
were met on this excursion, but would bound off with 
great speed at our approach. On one occasion, how 
ever, a fine herd, headed by a superb black stallion, 
came directly toward us, nor halted until within thirty 
yards. They threw up their heads, snorted and seemed 
to regard their visitors with intense curiosity, mingled 
with doubt and fear. It was strictly forbidden to shoot 
those animals, whose presence and unexpected proceed 
ings were a source of pleasure, and after a good survey 
of some five or six minutes, their leader stamped his 
hoofs with violence, and being followed by the herd, 
circled our little party several times, and then galloped 
off with incredible speed and grace of movement. All 
these signs were proofs positive that 'no Indians had been 
there for some time, for the introduction of horse-flesh as 
a delicate article of food is properly due to the Apaches, 
and not the Parisians, although the latter may have re 
fined upon the original system of cooking. 

The guide led us to a smootH hill, perfectly free from 
wood or brush of any sort, but richly 'covered with the 



LIFE AMONG THE APACHES. 275 

finest grama grass. After ascending this moderate ele 
vation we beheld, just below, and occupying the inter 
mediate vale between it and the next height, a delightful 
and thick wood, no portion of which could be perceived 
from any other point except the opposite hill. In the 
the center of this wood was a never-failing spring of de 
licious water, easy of access, and immediately adjoining 
a first-rate camping ground. This spring was aptly 
named Cupido, or Cupid. Here our little party came to 
an anchor, nearly midw r ay between th$ two passes al 
ready mentioned. The Alamo Gordo Vie jo Pass was 
three miles south, and the Pajaro Pass five miles north 
west from the Cupido. Three men were sent to watch 
each pass, and to give the earliest possible information 
of the approach of the savages. 

The next clay, after our arrival, was signalized by a 
heavy fall of snow, to the depth of eight or nine inches, 
and this was followed by an almost intense cold, my 
spirit thermometer showing twenty degrees below zero 
of Fahrenheit's instrument. Four days previous we 
were in a region where the same thermometer stood at 
forty degrees above freezing point, making a difference 
of ninety-two degrees in the short period mentioned. 
We had been unconsciously rising to a very elevated po 
sition, and had left the region of the cotton-wood and 
the vine for that of the fir and the cedar. Here we 
passed the New Year of 1864, anxiously waiting for the 
savage marauders to break cover; and as the snow laid 
thickly on the ground, it afforded an unfailing means by 
which to note their advent. Becoming dissatisfied with 
this state of rest, and knowing that the Pajaro Pass was 
badly blocked with snow, I determined to move down 
toward the pass of the Alamo Gordo, and occupy such 
a position as would afford us a sort of cut-off to any 



276 LIFE AMONG THE APACHES. 

movement through that cailon. Camp was accordingly 
changed, and a fresh position, in the open plain, selected. 
No man in the command had more than two blankets, 
and many had only one; wood was scarce, requiring all 
hands to collect enough for ordinary cooking purposes; 
the snow was six inches deep, and the weather looked 
threatening. In no sense could our condition be deemed 
agreeable. At eight o'clock p. M. another terrible snow 
storm burst upon us. The wind howled with fury, and 
the flakes covered us with such density that it was neces 
sary to throw it from the upper blanket every half hour, 
its weight being oppressive. In the meantime two men 
had been- stationed at the outlet of the Alamo Gordo 
Pass, with strict orders to inform me the moment the 
Indians should make their appearance. Snow continued 
to fall, but in moderate quantities, all of the next day, 
and I heard nothing from my spies. The storm rather 
increased that night, which was also extremely cold, 
and next morning, at five o'clock, one of my lookout 
men arrived in camp with the information that the In 
dians had passed with a large body of sheep, at daylight 
of the previous morning. He and his comrade had im 
mediately come on to inform me, but the severity of the 
storm and density of the snow were so great that he 
could not distinguish objects, even at a short distance; 
he had lost sight of his companion; had wandered about 
all night, and was nearly dead with fatigue, suffering 
and exposure. 

The order to saddle up was immediately given and 
obeyed, without waiting for breakfast, or even a cup of 
hot coffee, and the command moved in such a direction 
as would enable it to cut the Indian trail without losing 
ground. Our rate of traveling was at the trot, and every 
little while the horses' hoofs " balled" badly, greatly im- 



LIFE AMONG THE APACHES. 277 

peding our progress. In due course of time we reached 
the Pecos river, which was frozen over about two inches 
thick. The bank on our side was about four feet per 
pendicular descent, but on the other it rose gradually 
from the river. We plunged in, breaking through the 
ice, and as the water was only about two feet and a half 
deep, no damage was sustained further than cutting the 
forelegs of the advance animals. Half an hour after 
crossing the Pecos, we struck the broad, fresh trail of 
the Navajoes, which gave evidence of having been passed 
over some hours previous, as in many places it was cov 
ered with fresh snow two inches deep. The knowledge 
of this fact was disheartening, especially as night had 
commenced to close its sable curtains about our vision; 
but there was such a marked distinction between the 
virgin snow and that which had been trampled, that 
there was no difficulty in following the trail, although 
with greatly lessened speed. The storm had ceased two 
hours before, leaving us comparatively relieved. About 
eight o'clock P. M., we were hailed by an Apache, who 
said: Nejeunee, pindah lickoyee; nuestche shee which 
means, " good friend, white eyes; come here." I halted 
the command and bade the speaker come forward. It 
proved to be Nah-tanh, accompanied by Nah-kah-yen 
and Natch-in-ilk-kisn. Upon hearing my voice, they 
came up and said that the Navajoes in their march, the 
evening previous, had crossed through the camp of some 
herders of beef cattle, about fifteen miles above Fort 
Sumner, where a slight brush occurred between the 
vaqueros and the Indians, which was terminated by the 
Navajoes leaving fifteen hundred head of sheep behind, 
and making the most of their way with the great body 
of their plunder. 

News was immediately conveyed to the fort, when 
13 



278 LIFE AMONG THE APACHES. 

Maj. Whalen ordered out Capt. Bristol's company of 
United States Infantry, while Mr. Labadie, with thirty 
Apache Indians and seven men of my company, who had 
been left in camp to care for the horses and company 
property, immediately mounted and pursued the Nava- 
joes. At three o'clock p. M., they came up with the ma 
rauding band, which numbered about one hundred, and 
at once engaged the enemy, who formed line and made 
a stand with about two-thirds their force, while the re 
mainder were urged forward with the sheep. The con 
flict lasted about an hour, during which twenty-five Na- 
vajoes were killed, and the remainder routed in all direc- 
ions. Bent upon recovering "the prey, the victorious 
party pushed on, but did not succeed in overtaking the 
sheep until three hours later, when the parties in charge 
fled and abandoned their hard-earned plunder, which 
numbered nearly fourteen thousand head. Such was 
the story told me by the Apaches. I asked Nah-tanh 
whether his people had remained with Mr. Labadie to 
guard the sheep, and he replied that he did not know, 
but supposed some of them had. 

It seems that the Eegular Jnfantry sent by Major 
Whalen had obtained this intelligence, and believing 
that the affair was ended, had retraced their steps to the 
fort. Feeling it my duty to protect Mr. Labadie and 
his diminished force, we hurried on until half -past ten 
o'clock P. M., when we saw a very dim fire on the plain, 
toward which we directed our course, and shortly ar 
rived in his camp, having accomplished sixty-eight miles 
through a snow-storm. It is needless to add that he 
was delighted to find himself so perfectly reinforced, as 
all his ammunition had been expended, and he only had 
the seven men of my company and twelve Apaches with 
him, and was apprehensive that the Navajoes would 



LIFE AMONG THE APACHES. 279 

make another attempt to regain their plunder and re 
venge the death of their slaughtered comrades. Mr. 
Labadie also gave me the gratifying intelligence that a 
soldier of my company, Peter Loser, had contributed 
more than any other person toward the success of his 
expedition, having killed five Navajoes, and being al 
ways in the front during t^e fight. 

That night was extremely cold; the thermometer fell 
to twenty- two degrees below zero. We had not a par 
ticle of wood, but in that locality, strange to say, there 
was no snow whatever upon the ground. The earth was 
frozen as hard as a rock, and the keen, cold blasts swept 
over an unbroken expanse of plain for a hundred miles. 
Our sufferings were dreadful, but there was no chance 
for relief. In their panic and eagerness to escape death, 
the Navajoes had thrown away their blankets, and were 
literally without any protection from the exceedingly 
severe weather, whereas our Apache allies had gathered 
up these much-needed trophies and were comparatively 
well to do. Next morning, at daylight, an alarm was 
given to the effect that the Navajoes had re-assembled, 
and were coming down upon the camp. My command 
was mounted in less than five minutes, and led out at 
the gallop toward the point from whence the signal 
came, which, by the way, had been given by an Apache; 
but after spending two hours in the most active search, 
we failed to perceive any sign whatever of their presence. 
Convinced that there was no ground for the alarm, I re 
turned to Mr. Labadie, and offered to escort him suffi 
ciently far on his way to insure the safety of his com 
mand and their prize, which offer was gratefully ac 
cepted. Having seen Mr. Labadie out of danger, we 
directed our course toward the route that it was pro 
bable the Navajoes had taken, as it would be their first 



280 LIFE AMONG THE APACHES. 

effort to reach water, but our search was in vain ; not a 
soul of them ever came under our observation. Subse 
quent arrivals of Navajo prisoners at Fort Sumner con 
tained several who had been engaged in the- affair just 
narrated, and they told me that it had been their inten 
tion to attack Mr. Labadie the night of the engagement, 
but that our opportune arrival, of which they had be 
come aware, completely changed the prospects of sue-- 
cess, and that instead of coming bak next morning, 
they hurried off with all possible speed, and at the 
time we were hunting for them they must have been at 
least forty miles distant. Mr. Labadie arrived safely at 
Fort Sumner with fourteen thousand head of re-captured 
sheep, which would have fallen to us, but for the fact 
that my sentinels at the Alamo Gordo Pass lost their 
way in a snow-storm for twenty-four hours after the In 
dians had left the pass with their plunder. His com 
rade did not rejoin us until I again returned to Fort 
Sumner, whither he had gone, after discovering that the 
command had left for parts unknown. 

Several of my men, being quite indisposed, were sent 
back to the fort by this opportunity, while the remainder 
continued the scout. Once more our direction laid to 
{he northeast, but with little hope of finding more In 
dians. After several days we .arrived at the Conchas 
Springs, about one hundred and eighty miles east-north 
east from Fort Sumner, and encountered a severity of 
cold surpassing anything I had ever before experienced, 
although a native of Maine, and a visitor to its northern 
most borders in the heart of winter. In my command 
were nine men from the same State, and none of them 
had ever known anything to compare with the intensity 
of the cold we suffered. The deepest part of the Con 
chas Springs is about seven feet, and the men cut through 



LIFE AMONG THE APACHES. 281 

six feet of solid ice in the vain effort to obtain water for 
their horses. Six hundred yards to the east was a slight 
elevation crowned with stunted cedar trees, from four to 
twelve feet high, and there I determined to pitch my 
camp. The snow was eighteen inches deep and frozen 
hard, so that it required the weight of the horses to 
break through. We had no grain, and the only subsist 
ence for the animals was the hardy grama grass which 
laid covered with ice-bound snow to the depth men 
tioned. It became absolutely necessary to uncover this 
sole magazine of feed, and the horses were trotted about 
until a considerable surface was broken, enough to ena 
ble them to gather some fodder. In the meantime, a 
small quantity of dry wood was collected, and a goodly 
fire got under way, which was enlivened from time to 
time by the resinous branches of the green cedars and 
firs about us, which yielded a lively, hot, but evanescent 
blaze. Green branches and trunks of trees were cut 
down and carefully baked under the hot ashes until they 
became combustible, and in their turn did like service 
for others. On the night of January 5th, 1864, my 
spirit thermometer declared forty degrees below zero of 
Fahrenheit. No man could go three hundred yards 
from camp and return at an ordinary walk without hav 
ing his moustache covered with icicles, and if he wore a 
beard in addition, the two would be frozen together. 
Large quantities of snow and ice were melted in the 
camp-kettles to provide water for the horses, but the an 
imals were always led up to the fires, for if the water 
were carried to them it would freeze hard before the 
soldier could reach his horse. 

These facts, of which many witnesses exist in Califor 
nia, will serve to furnish some idea of Apache capacity 
to endure intense cold, especially when we bear in mind 



282 LIFE AMONG THE APACHES. 

that they were at that time running about with nothing 
on save a breech-cloth. When they succeed in steal 
ing sheep, a warm suit is immediately improvised by 
stripping the skin from the animal and investing their 
own bodies within its fleecy folds. A few thin strings 
of hide serve to connect the skins and form a robe. 
When the rascals have time to make their arrangements, 
the sheep are formed in a parallelogram, the width of 
which never exceeds thirty feet, with a length sufficient 
to accommodate the flock. The strongest sheep are then 
selected and their horns lashed together in couples, and 
these couples are ranged along either side of the main 
flock, forming a sort of animal fence which prevents the 
inclosed animals from wandering, especially while run 
ning by night. Along each side of the mass are sta 
tioned a string of Apaches on foot, who preserve regular 
distances, and animate the sheep to maintain a regular 
rate of speed. Immediately in front, a small body of 
select warriors and keen runners lead the way, while the 
main body of Indians follow in the rear to push forward 
and urge on the plunder. In this manner the Apaches 
will run a flock of twenty thousand sheep from fifty to 
seventy miles in one day, gradually lessening the dis 
tance, until they deem themselves tolerably safe from 
pursuit. They have been known to accomplish the dis 
tance of fourteen or fifteen hundred miles in the manner 
above described. These data, are sufficient to determine 
the Apache's capacity for endurance. 

The term for our scout having nearly expired, I de 
termined to seek the warmer region of the Pecos with 
out delay, especially as the horses had become very 
weak and thin. Fort Sumner was one hundred and 
eighty miles distant, and for two-thirds of the road the 
snow averaged from one foot to one inch in depth. We 



LIFE AMONG THE APACHES. 283 

reached the fort after five days marching, being at the 
rate of thirty-six miles per day. On arriving, my ther 
mometer was again consulted, and showed five degrees 
below zero, which, although a severe cold, was neverthe 
less a very grateful change in temperature. I was in 
formed that the morning previous to our arrival the 
thermometer at the fort stood at ten degrees below zero, 
and it was then that the action took place between a few 
troops and a small band of Apaches, on one side, and 
one hundred and eighty Navajoes, as already recounted. 
The clay before our arrival we came suddenly upon a 
very large band of antelopes, and the men were given 
permission to ride in among them for a hunt. We had 
them fairly corraled in such a manner as to compel their 
passage through our line close enough to pass within 
pistol range. On they came, probably to the number of 
two thousand, and dashed by with wonderful speed. 
The cavalry closed upon them and opened a rapid fire, 
which terminated in giving us ten fine animals in less 
than ten minutes. The scene was very exciting, as the 
men were all splendid riders and excellent marksmen. 
Had their horses been in good condition, we might have 
procured many more. Just at the time of the liveliest 
shooting, an ambulance, containing Lieut. Newbold and 
another officer, escorted by four cavalrymen, hove in 
sight and halted on the road about four hundred yards 
from the theater of operations. They thought, at first, 
that we had engaged a body of Indians, but catching 
sight of the scampering herd, they rode forward and 
were given a fine buck, which was lashed on top the 
ambulance. 

It was curious to remark the immense numbers of 
ravens which daily directed their course toward the 
recent battle field, below the fort. Regularly, abouigthe 



284 LIFE AMONG THE APACHES. 

time of "reveille/' immense numbers of them would 
wend their way right over the camp toward the south, 
and as regularly return at the time of " retreat/' napping 
their wings in a sluggish manner, as if gorged with food. 
Curiosity impelled me to visit the ground and see these 
birds at their feast. The field was literally black with 
them, and every corpse was thickly covered with a flut 
tering, fighting flock of scavengers. This regular flight 
of crows and ravens was regarded by the Apaches with 
unmistakable satisfaction, which w T as indignantly re 
sented by the Navajoes, and served to keep alive the 
feud which had arisen between them. So soon as this 
feeling evinced itself it was pressed into service by the 
Post Commander, who contrived to make the tribes 
mutual spies upon each other's actions. Any misdeed 
of an Apache was sure to be detected and exposed by a 
Navajo, and vice versa; but the trouble of keeping them 
in order was much simplified. 



CHAPTEE XXV. 

Eeligious Ceremonies. Lack of Veneration. Evidences of Mineral Wealth. An 
Apache "Rough." Tats-ah-das-ay-go. Remarkable Order. Another 
Scout. Apache "Hide and Seek." Prairie Dogs and their Guests. 
Apache Customs concerning Murder. Sons-in-jah. His Career. His Re 
citals. Former Condition of the New Mexicans. How the Difficulties 
Commenced. Reflections. Articles of Apache Food. Native Potatoes. 
Apache Estimate of Dead Women. Navajo Dread of Corpses. 

OF religious ceremonies the Apaches have very few, 
and these are limited to the immediate concerns of life. 
The occasional scalp dance and its accompanying purifi 
cation of weapons, the feasts made at marriages, and 
when the girls attain the age of puberty, and the cere 
monials observed at the sepulture of noted warriors, 
comprise the whole among a people not overburdened 
with reverential ideas, or prone to self-humiliation. 
Their prayers for success, if any such are ever made, are 
addressed to the Evil Spirit, who is supposed to rule en 
tirely over the apportionment of fortuitous or preju 
dicial results to the people of this world. It is greatly 
to be doubted whether the bump of reverence was ever 
discoverable in an Apache skull. It would be, as it has 
always proved, a sheer waste of time and labor to make 
any effort at inculcating sentiments which have been 
abjured by them from the earliest periods, and to which 
they have become wedded. The teachings of Christian 
ity are so diametrically opposed to all their received 
opinions and crystallized ideas, that they regard them 
with abhorrence. To tell an Apache warrior that when 
he is smitten on one cheek it is his duty to receive a 
13* 



286 LIFE AMONG THE APACHES. 

slap on the other, is to proclaim the teacher a fool and 
an unworthy person, in his opinion. To instruct him 
that it is criminal to deprive other people of their prop 
erty, is to inform him that it is his duty to starve in or 
der that his enemy may prosper. An endeavor to ex 
plain to him that he should forgive his enemies and har 
bor no feelings of vengeance for their assaults, would at 
once convict his instructor of such unmitigated nonsense 
as to forever debar him from all future consideration. 
The most that can be effected is to enforce his submis 
sion to superior power, which being accomplished, it 
should be our aim to exhibit that leniency to which he 
ma, stranger, and make a start from that point. This 
would be a practical demonstration enlisting his atten 
tion and homage, and specially contrasting, by acts, the 
teachings of one religion as compared with those of the 
other, or, more properly speaking, no religion at all. 
To inculcate just ideas of -such important facts into the 
savage mind, it is necessary to practice as well as preach, 
and the practice must chaperon the preaching. But a 
discussion on this subject is so entirely foreign to the 
objects contemplated by the author, and so completely 
outside his sphere of remark, that it will be dropped for 
other and more practical considerations. 

The Apaches entertain the greatest possible dread of 
our discoveries of mineral wealth in their country. They 
have had experience enough to assure them that the pos 
session of lucre is the great incentive among us to stim 
ulate what is termed " enterprise." They know and feel 
that wherever mineral wealth exists to such an extent as 
to render it available, the white man fastens upon it 
with ineradicable tenacity. The massacre of the pioneer 
set does not deter another company from experimenting 
in the same engaging field. These localities are always 



LIFE A^IOXG THE APACHES. 287 

rendered more valuable by the proximity of wood and 
water, two scarce articles in Arizona. The occupation 
of mines involves the possession of water facilities and 
sufficient fuel. To occupy a water privilege in Arizona 
and New Mexico is tantamount to driving the Indians 
from their most cherished possessions, and infuriates 
them to the utmost extent. If one deprives them of 
their ill-gained plunder he is regarded as an outrageous 
robber; but should he seize upon one of their few water 
springs, he is rated a common and dangerous enemy, 
whose destruction it is the duty of all the tribe to com 
pass. It may be reasonably inferred from these remarks 
that when an Apache voluntarily discovers a rich mine 
to a white man he is influenced either by kindness, or is 
attempting to lay a trap for his destruction, baited by 
cupidity. 

Among those under our charge was a noted fighter 
named Tats-ah-das-ay-go, or the " Quick Killer." This 
man was feared even by the boldest of his tribe ; in fact, 
he had acquired among them the reputation of being a 
"Bough," or "Bowery Boy," and, although noted for 
his personal courage and prowess, was severely left to 
the enjoyment of his own society in time of peace. He 
had espoused half a dozen wives, who found it impos 
sible to live under his capricious rule, and he was, at 
the time of our acquaintance, a sort of tabooed indivi 
dual, to whom all paid outward respect, but entertained 
concealed dislike. Tats-ah-das-ay-go paid little heed to 
these demonstrations. He lived alone, hunted his own 
game, received his own rations, and was seldom seen 
among his fellows. For some unaccountable reason this 
savage conceived a great personal regard for the writer, 
and was accustomed to freely recount his adventures in 
various parts of Mexico, Arizona and New Mexico. Ac- 



288 LIFE AMONG THE APACHES. 

cording to his own narrations, which were confirmed by 
the testimony of his fellows, his whole life had been a 
tissue of sanguinary deeds. A rivulet of blood tracked 
the course of his history. He was a man of decided 
native genius, and perfect master of all sorts of Apache 
lures, wiles and deceits. From him I learned much of 
Indian character, and he seemed desirous to teach. Tats- 
ah-das-ay-go wore upon his body hair, which hung down 
below the middle of his back in a broad, thick plait, a 
number of silver shields, perfectly round, and with a 
tongue or bar in the center of each, through which 
passed the band of hair in such a manner as to display 
the shields to the greatest advantage. The first, or up 
per one, was the size of a common saucer, and nearly as 
thick, while the next below was a little smaller, and each 
succeeding one still less in size, until the last and thir 
teenth was about twice as large as a silver dollar. Of 
these he was extremely vain, and never laid them aside 
.except to comb and dress his long and luxuriant hair. 
These ornaments I had always believed were taken from 
the saddle mountings of Mexican victims, and one day 
I jocularly remarked: 

"Did you have a hard time to acquire those spoils?" 

"You mistake, Tata," he replied; "these are not 
spoils taken from Mexicans; but I found this silver and 
beat it out myself." - 

"Where did you find it?" I asked. 

"Away down in the mountains which border the Pecos, 
far south from here;" adding, "I will tell you all about 
it. We were in the Guadalupe Mountains, and were 
going upon the Llano Estacado to hunt buffalo; but 
previous to doing this a number of us climbed the sierra 
to look out upon the plains and see that they were clear 
of Comanches. In ascending the mountain I took hold 



LIFE AMONG THE APACHES. 289 

of a small bush to assist my steps, when it gave way, 
and I saw a bright lump of something just under the 
roots. Picking it up, I discovered that it was very heavy 
and like the pesh-lickoyee , or plata-hay, with which rich 
Mexicans mount their saddles. I collected a quantity, 
and afterwards beat it out in the shape you see. This 
was many years ago and I have never been there since." 

I had seen enough of the mineral richness of Arizona 
and New Mexico to convince me that there might be 
some truth in this narration, but determined to wait 
until a favorable opportunity should occur to permit ex 
ploration. Three or four months afterward orders were 
received from Gen. Carleton, ordering me to "keep the 
country clear of Indians for the space of three hundred 
miles around the post." Such an order had never before 
been issued to an officer in the service. It was unparal 
leled and altogether unique; but in obedience thereto a 
scout was ordered under my command, and I determined 
to make an exploration in the region mentioned by Tats- 
ah-das-ay-go, and to take him with jne. In due season 
the party left Fort Sumner, thirty-five strong, and trav 
eled in a zig-zag direction for several days until the 
Guadalupe Mountains were reached. On the succeeding 
day Quick Killer informed me that we were near the 
canon where he had found the silver, and that he would 
direct us to it next morning, which he did about ten 
o'clock the following day. 

Having arrived at the canon, I left the command un 
der the charge of the First Sergeant, and proceeded with 
Quick Killer for about a mile and a quarter, when he 
dismounted and hitched his horse to a tree, requesting 
me to do the same, which I did, keeping my carbine 
ready and placing my holster pistols in my belt. We 
then ascended about three hundred feet until we reached 



290 LIFE AMONG THE APACHES. 

a bold and unmistakable mineral ledge, thickly shrouded 
with underbrush and stunted trees. Quick Killer stopped 
a moment, examined the place well, and proceeded di 
rectly to a spot, which he unearthed for a few inches and 
displayed several magnificent specimens of virgin silver. 
I was satisfied, and possessing myself of a goodly lump, 
we retraced our steps to the command, none of whom 
were ever made cognizant of these occurrences. Wood, 
water and grass abound in the locality, which is in west 
ern Texas, on the Pecos river; but so long as the coun 
try is held by the Apaches, this valuable region must 
remain entirely useless for all practical purposes. This 
is but one of many experiences demonstrating the vast 
mineral resources of Arizona, New Mexico and Western 
Texas. Sonora, Chihuahua and portions of Durango are 
also extensively endowed with mineral wealth, but they 
are unavailable under present circumstances. While 
crossing an extensive prairie, dotted here and there by a 
few shrubs and diminutive bushes, Quick Killer volun 
teered, while resting at noon, to show me with what 
dexterity an Apache could conceal himself, even where 
no special opportunity existed for such concealment. 
The offer was readily accepted, and we proceeded a short 
distance until we came to a small bush, hardly sufficient 
to hide a hare. Taking his stand behind this bush, he 
said: " Turn your back and wait until I give the signal." 
This proposition did not exactly suit my ideas of Apache 
character, and I said: "No, I will walk forward until you 
tell me to stop." This was agreed upon, and quietly 
drawing my pistol, keeping a furtive glance over my 
shoulder, I advanced; but had not gone ten steps, when 
Quick Killer hailed me to stop and find him. I returned 
to the bush, went around it three or four times, looked 
in every direction there was no possible covert in sight; 



LIFE AMONG THE APACHES. 291 

the prairie was smooth and unbroken, and it seemed as 
if the earth had opened and swallowed up the man. 
Being unable to discover him, I called and bade him 
come forth, when, to my extreme surprise, he arose 
laughing and rejoiced, within two feet of the position I 
then occupied. With incredible activity and skill he 
had completely buried himself under the thick grama 
grass, within six feet of the bush, and had covered him 
self with such dexterity that one might have trodden 
upon him without discovering his person. I took no 
pains to conceal my astonishment and admiration, which 
delighted him exceedingly, and he informed me that 
their children were practiced regularly in this game of 
"hide and seek," until they became perfect adepts. 
"We have far-reaching rifles and destructive weapons, but 
they must ever be ineffective against unseen enemies; 
and it is part of a soldier's duty, while engaged in Indian 
countries, to study all their various devices. 

Another excellent illustration of their skill in conceal 
ment was given me by Nah-kah-yen. We were hunting 
together, when a large herd of antelopes made its ap 
pearance. Nah-kah-yen immediately tore off a small 
strip from an old red handkerchief and tied it to the 
point of a yucca stalk, at the same time handing me his 
rifle and saying: Ali-lmn-day anah-zon-lee "go off a 
long way" he instantly buried himself under the sand 
and grass with the ease and address of a mole. I at 
once moved away several hundred yards, and sought to 
creep up to the antelopes, who w T ere evidently attracted 
by the piece of red rag fluttering on the yucca stalk. 
Not wishing to interrupt the sport of my savage com 
rade, and anxious to witness the upshot of his device, I 
remained a "looker on and a spectator" of the affair. 
In a little while a marked commotion was noticeable n 



292 LIFE AMONG THE APACHES. 

the herd, which galloped off very rapidly for a hundred 
yards or so, but soon recovered their equanimity, and 
again approached the attractive red rag. These strang e 
agitations occurred several times, until the antelopes 
finally dashed away over the plains with wonderful 
speed. Nah-kah-yen then arose and beckoned me to 
come, which I did, and found that he had killed four of 
the herd. We had all the meat our horses could well 
pack, but the distance to camp was only five miles and 
soon made. 

Travelers over our plains have frequently observed 
that the prairie dog, rattlesnake and ground owl live to 
gether in one habitation, and being unable to solve the 
problem myself, I asked several shrewd Apache warriors 
to do it for me. The rattlesnake, said they, is a very 
wise reptile. He permits the prairie dog to make a nice, 
warm nest, and then he quietly takes possession, but 
does not disturb the safety of the inmates, who retire 
and fit up another cell, quite ignorant of the snake's in 
tention, who makes it a point never to injure the old 
pair, unless pressed by dire necessity; but in the most 
stealthy manner devours one of the young brood every 
now and then, leaving no evidence of his carnivorous 
propensity. The parents never seem to entertain any 
suspicion of their dangerous guest, who always puts on 
his best behavior in their presence, although capable of 
destroying them with ease. On the other hand, the 
snake never devoursa prairie dog when he can seize his 
more legitimate prey above ground, but keeps them as a 
sort of reserved fund. The ground owls scarcely ever 
descend into the depths of the hole, but burrow a sepa 
rate cell close by its entrance, whither they retire for 
repose and to deposit and hatch their eggs. In the day 
time they sit nodding on top the hillocks made by the 



LIFE AMONG THE APACHES. 293 

prairie dogs, and at night they hunt their prey, which 
consists of lizards and all sorts of bugs and beetles, after 
which they sleep in the early morning and re-appear 
again about eleven o'clock A. M. As I have never exam 
ined into this subject, I can only relate the Apache 
version. 

Among nearly all other of our American tribes if one 
man murders another, the next warrior of kin to the 
slain person is entitled to the right of revenging his 
death by killing his murderer, after he has been tried 
and condemned by a council of the tribe; but this cus 
tom does not obtain among the Apaches. If one man 
kills another, the next of kin to the defunct individual 
may kill the murderer if he can. He has the right to 
challenge him to single combat, which takes place be 
fore all assembled in the camp, and both must abide the 
result of the conflict. There is no trial, no set council, 
no regular examination into the crime or its causes; but 
the ordeal of battle settles the whole matter. Should 
the next of kin decline to prosecute the affair, then some 
other warrior of the family may shoulder the responsi 
bility and seek retribution. 

Among those who had surrendered themselves was a 
very old man, probably nearly a hundred years of age, 
for other men of fifty-five and sixty told me that he was 
a noted warrior when they were little children. His 
name was Sons-in-jah, or the " Great Star." This man's 
frame was of enormous proportions. His height, even 
at that extreme age, was six feet three inches, without 
moccasins. His shoulders were extremely broad, his 
arms of uncommon length, and his shriveled limbs ex 
hibited a volume of bone almost equal to that of a large 
horse. The old man's eye-sight had begun to fail, but his 
hearing was keen as ever. His head was as white as snow, 



294 LIFE AMONG THE APACHES. 

and lie was the only gray-headed Apache I ever saw. 
Several of his front teeth were gone, probably lost from 
a blow, but his molars were almost equal to those of a 
horse. Heavy folds of thick skin fell over each other 
down his abdomen; but the muscles and cords in his legs 
and arms seemed to be made of steel. This old man 
came regularly to see me every day that I was in camp, 
and it delighted me to treat him with kindness, although 
I felt convinced that for three-quarters of a century his 
h*nds had been steeped in blood. His memory was 
fresh and vivid, full of recollections, and teeming with 
experiences of the past. He outlived his usefulness, and 
was neglected by the tribe. He said, that when he was 
a boy the hills and the valleys of his country were filled 
with his people. They were very numerous and dreaded 
by all surrounding peoples. But dissention crept in 
among themselves. Family feuds led to family vendet 
tas, and innumerable duels; that the defeated besought 
the aid of the Spaniards, who afterward turned their 
weapons against their allies. In those days, said he, we 
had none but stone-headed arrows, and sharpened stakes 
for lances. The Mexicans were just like ourselves. The 
other day I was in Santa Fe and saw the Mexican women 
dressed in great finery, with gowns of many colors; but 
I. remember when they wore little more than breech- 
cloths, and were but too happy to own the very coarsest 
kind of vesture. By and by the Spaniards went away 
and left the Mexicans to themselves. At first we lived 
quite on good terms with each other; but then some 
American traders arrived, who were dreadful people, al 
ways getting drunk, and killing each other or somebody 
else. These men made raids upon us, and carried off 
our women and children whom they sold to the Mexicans. 
This excited our vengeance against the invaders and those 



LIFE AMONG THE APACHES. 295 

who bought their plunder, and ever since a deadly feud 
has raged between them and the Apaches. You "white 
eyes/' added Sons-in-jah, know how to read and write; 
you know how to circulate your information and ideas 
from one to the other, although you may never see or 
know the party: but we poor Apaches are obliged to re 
late what we know and have seen by means of words 
only, and we never get together in large parties to re 
main long enough to disseminate any great amount of 
information. 

The foregoing incisive sentences precisely reflect the 
drift of the remarks made to me by the old man on 
many occasions. I am largely indebted to him for much 
information on other points, which he imparted with per 
fect freedom, especially as he considered himself a pro 
tege of mine, and received more kindness from me than 
from his own people. But with all my efforts I failed to 
obtain from Sons-in-jah any recital of their modes of 
sepulture. On this point he was invariably reticent. 
He was by no means vain-glorious; seldom referring to 
his own deeds, unless extracted from him under favor 
able circumstances. After sunning himself on a fine 
day, he would wink his bleared eyes in a knowing man 
ner, and invite me to take a seat near him and listen to 
his recitals. Deeds of violence and sanguinary outrages, 
hair-breadth escapes, terrific journeys and bold robberies 
were rehearsed with intense gratification to the old man ; 
but after relating each incident he was always particular 
to give me a "reason" for his acts. In other words, he 
sought to excuse the bloody record of his life by stating 
the incentives. If any other argument were needed to 
satisfy me that the Apache is fully cognizant of the dif 
ference between right and wrong, this old reprobate's 
excuses were sufficient to remove all remaining doubts 



296 LIFE AMONG THE APACHES. 

I utilized old Sons-in-jah in a variety of ways. He was 
entirely nude, with the exception of a much worn breech- 
cloth, and he complained bitterly that his people treated 
him with neglect, and robbed him of his rations. I gave 
him a good pair .of soldier's pants of the largest size, a 
flannel shirt and a stout pair of shoes, which delighted 
him greatly. He came regularly every day for food, 
which he received from me whenever I was in camp, 
and at other times from some member of the company. 

"How is it," said I, "that the Apaches contrive to 
live in places where there is neither game nor plunder?" 
The old man laughed heartily at my ignorance and sim 
plicity, and replied: 

" There is food everywhere if one only knows how to 
find it. Let us go down to the field below, and I will 
show you." 

The distance was not more than six hundred yards, 
and we proceeded together. There appeared to be no 
herbage whatever on the spot. The earth was com 
pletely bare, and my inexperienced eyes could detect 
nothing. Stooping down he dug with his knife, about 
six inches deep, and soon unearthed a small root about 
the size of a large gooseberry. "Taste that," said he; 
I did, and found it excellent, somewhat resembling in 
flavor a raw sweet potato, but more palatable. He then 
pointed out to me a small dry stalk, not larger than an 
ordinary match, and about half as long: "Wherever you 
find these," he added, "you will find potatoes." This 
was in October, and a few days afterward the field was 
covered with Indians digging these roots, of which they 
obtained large quantities. Pursuing the subject, Sons- 
in-jah said: " You see that big field of sun-flowers; well, 
they contain much food, for we take the seeds, reduce 
them to flour upon our metates and make it into cakes, 



LIFE AMONG THE APACHES. 297 

which are very nice. Again: the mescal, which you 
white people would pass without notice, is convertible 
into excellent food by the simple process of roasting. 
Furthermore, we know exactly when, where and how to 
trap and catch small animals, like the prairie dogs, foxes, 
raccoons and others; besides which there are many plants 
containing nutriment of which you know nothing, or 
would not eat if you did. One day an Apache woman 
died in camp, and I asked Gian-nah-tah if there would 
be much lamentation. He simply smiled at the idea, 
and replied: "It was a woman; her death is of no ac 
count." The Apaches are extremely reserved about 
letting outsiders approach their dead, and invariably 
bury them under the cover of night, with the most cau 
tious secrecy; but the Navajoes were quite unreserved, 
and it was only by threats or promises that we could 
induce the nearest of kin to take a dead body out for 
sepulture. Cases occurred when the corpses were left 
wholly uhcared for several days successively, and the 
deaths not reported, from a desire to escape the duty of 
performing the dreaded burial service. 



CHAPTER XXVI. 

Apache Boldness and Address. The Papagoes. A Fine Herd Stolen by One 
Apache. An Officer's Horse Stolen. Soldier Kobbed of his Horse. Ne. 
cessity for Prudence. Apache Games. Sons-in-jah's Version. Apache 
Ideas of Gambling. Racea at Fort Sunmer. The Winners. Manuelito, 
the Great Navajo Warrior. 

THE boldness and address with which the Apaches 
carry out their designs, and the crafty cunning they dis 
play when desiring to mislead their enemies, can be best 
illustrated by stating several notable occurrences. The 
horses of the two companies commanded by Captains 
McCleave and Fritz, of the First California Cavalry, had 
become thin and weak from long and active service, and 
needed rest and refreshment. For this purpose General 
Carleton ordered them to the Reventon, a large rancho 
near the town of Tubac; but finding better grass and su 
perior camping ground near the town of San Xavier del 
Bac, the companies took up temporary residence at that 
place. San Xavier is principally inhabited by Papago 
Indians, and contains about fifteen hundred souls. The 
Papagoes are semi - civilized, and have always been 
friendly; but a deadly feud exists between them and the 
Apaches, who seize every opportunity to annoy, rob and 
murder those people. The Papagoes had a large num 
ber of horses which were grazed, in the- daytime, near 
the town, and caught up at night for fear of their being 
stolen by the ever vigilant foe. When McCleave and 
Fritz arrived with two hundred troopers, and grazed 
their horses by night under a strong guard, the Papa- 



LIFE AMONG THE APACHES. 299 

goes imagined that* the force would deter the Apaches 
and keep them away. Under this impression they also 
permitted their animals to feed by night. On the other 
hand, the Apaches, as one of them afterward told me, 
foresaw precisely what happened. Those foolish Papa- 
goes, said they, will think that because the Californian 
troops are so near that their property will be safe, and 
will relax their usual caution; now is our time to act. 
They did act, and to such purpose that they took nearly 
every horse once possessed by the Papagoes. Here was 
a specimen of nice judgment, founded upon a shrewd 
knowledge of human nature, and executed with boldness 
and address. 

A wealthy resident of New Mexico, near Polvadera, 
owned a herd of superior horses of which he was extremely 
careful. The band numbered nearly one hundred, and 
were renowned for their excellence. These horses were 
strictly guarded every day, while grazing not far from 
the house, by twelve or fifteen well armed Mexicans, and 
at nightfall were inclosed in a large and strong corral, 
the walls of which were sixteen feet high and three feet 
thick, the only entrance being through a large and strong 
gate which was heavily barred and locked. Numerous 
attempts to steal this herd had been made by the Apaches, 
but invariably without success. The horses fed on a 
smooth, open plain, which could be easily scanned, and 
was so close to the corral that they could be placed in 
safety in a few minutes. At length one bold rascal deter 
mined either to get the herd or die attempting it. One 
very dark and stormy night he contrived to climb over the 
corral wall, and concealed himself in the hay and feed 
scattered about. Here he remained until the earliest 
dawn, when he selected the best horse in the lot, and 
mounting him, waited for the gates to be thrown open. 



300 LIFE AMONG THE APACHES. 

Soon afterward the herders, yet unarmed, collected with 
their reatas, each one ready to lasso a horse for that day's 
service, as was their custom, after which the selected 
horses were to be saddled, then arms taken, and the herd 
driven to pasture. As soon as the gate was thrown open 
the frolicsome horses made a rush to get out, as they 
always did, the Apache keeping in the rear until all were 
outside, when, with a yell, and the alarming sound of 
an instrument they use when stampeding animals, he 
started the frightened herd which darted off at full 
speed, leaving the astonished and bewildered Mexicans 
in distress. The scoundrel, by leaning down from the 
horse so he could not be seen, had escaped notice and 
accomplished the robbery. Comment upon this bold' 
and desperate act is quite unnecessary; it speaks for itself. 
Lieut. -Col. Ferguson, of the First California Cavalry, 
bought a fine American horse, for which he paid three 
hundred dollars. He availed himself of the escort of 
fered by my company to proceed to Tucson. One after 
noon we camped in a grove of large cotton-wood trees, 
without underbrush, and in a favorable position. The 
picket line was ran from tree to tree, and at sunset the 
horses were fastened to it, fed, groomed, and a guard of 
two men, one each side, placed over them. The Colonel 
would not permit his horse to be tied up with those of 
the company, saying that he did not want him kicked 
nor bitten by those malicious half-breeds and, I must 
say, with some reason for there were a number of 
vicious animals among them. By his order, an iron 
stake was driven in the ground, about twenty feet from 
one end of the picket line, and just opposite the entrance 
to a narrow, rocky canon. The moon was very brilliant, 
but would set behind the mountains about one o'clock 
A. M., and orders were given to keep a special watch over 



LIFE AMONG THE APACHES. 301 

the Colonel's horse after that hour. About the time 
mentioned, the camp was alarmed by the report of a 
couple of carbines, and on inquiring the cause, found 
that the sentries had fired at an Apache who had gone 
off with the Colonel's horse. The successful robber had 
approached quite close to the animal without being dis 
covered, and the moment the moon hid her light behind 
the hill, he cut the halter, sprang upon its back, stooped 
off on one side, and galloped up the canon. The sen 
tries heard the noise, suspected the cause, and fired in 
the direction of the retreating savage. 

The mail service between Forts Sumner and Union, 
one hundred and eighty miles apart, required that the 
military courier should be mounted on the best horse 
disposable. The Reservation, at the former place, was 
forty miles square, and within its limits the Indians had 
a right to roam. On one occasion, while the courier 
was returning with the mails, he stopped near the en 
trance to a large and very crooked canon, dotted with 
huge fragments of rock. At this place the grass was 
very fresh and fine, which induced the soldier to halt 
and permit his tired and hungry horse to graze for half 
an hour. He accordingly dismounted, and let the ani 
mal range to the extent of his reata, which was a remark 
ably fine one, and about sixty feet long. Although on 
the Reservation, he drew his pistol and seated himself 
on a fragment of the rock. While occupied in noticing 
the movements of his horse, he was addressed by an 
Apache, who had come up within four feet of him with 
out being perceived. The Indian, who was unarmed, 
held out his hand in the frankest manner, and said: 
Nejeunee, nejeunee; which means, "friendly, kind." 
The soldier, believing him to be one of those under our 
charge, suffered him to approach and shake hands. 
14 



302 LIFE AMONG THE APACHES. 

Soon the wily savage pretended to be delighted at the 
reata, which he declared was the finest he ever saw, 
and commenced to examine it with critical attention 
throughout its length until he reached the horse, which 
he also evidently admired. Patting the animal, he re-, 
marked, mucho bueno; yes, answered the soldier, he is a 
fine horse. In the meantime, the Indian, unnoticed by 
the soldier, had drawn a small knife from the leg of his 
moccasin and severed the reata close to the horse, keep 
ing the cut ends concealed in his left hand while patting 
the horse with his right. Suddenly he pointed behind 
the soldier and shouted, Comanclie on ddhl; which means, 
" the Comanches are coming." Involuntarily the soldier 
turned to see, and at the instant the Apache sprang into 
the saddle, and in two bounds was behind the friendly 
shelter of a huge rock, from whence he effected his es 
cape with the horse, leaving the soldier holding the reata 
in one hand and his pistol in the other. I might go on 
and relate many more incidents of the same character, 
but as they all illustrate the same special traits, they 
will be omitted. The moral to be drawn is, that the 
traveler can never exercise too much prudence while 
among the Apaches, and it will never do to underrate 
their boldness, skill and craftiness. 

They are fond of bathing in the summer, and are all 
expert swimmers; but nothing can induce them to wash 
themselves in winter* They are the most reckless of all 
gamblers, risking anything they possess upon the turn 
of a card. Men, women and children indiscriminately 
engage in this vice; but there are some games to which 
women are never allowed access. Among these is one 
played with poles and a hoop. The former are gener 
ally about ten feet in length, smooth and gradually ta 
pering like a lance. It is marked with divisions through- 



LIFE AMONG THE APACHES. 303 

out its whole length, and these divisions are stained in 
different colors. The hoop is of wood, about six inches 
in diameter, and divided like the poles, of which each 
player has one. Only two persons can engage in this 
game at one time. A level place is selected, from which 
the grass is removed a foot in width, and for twenty-five 
or thirty feet in length, and the earth trodden down 
firmly and smoothly. One of the players rolls the hoop 
forward, and after it reaches a certain distance, both 
dart their poles after it, overtaking and throwing it 
down. The graduation of values is from the point of 
the pole toward the butt, which ranks highest, and the 
object is to make the hoop fall on the pole as near the 
butt as possible, at the same time noting the value of 
the part which touches the hoop. The two values are 
then added and placed to the credit of the player. The 
game usually runs up to a hundred, but the extent is 
arbitrary among the players. While it is going on no 
woman is permitted to approach within a hundred yards, 
and each person present is compelled to leave all his 
arms behind. I inquired the reason for these restric 
tions, and was told that they were required by tradition; 
but the shrewd old Sons-in-jah gave me another, and, I 
believe, the true version. When people gamble, said 
he, they become half crazy, and are very apt to quarrel. 
This is the most exciting game we have, and those who 
play it will wager all they possess. The loser is apt to get 
angry, and fights have ensued which resulted in the loss 
of many warriors. To prevent this, it was long ago de 
termined that no warrior should be present with arms 
upon his person or within near reach , and this game is 
always played at some distance from camp. Three 
prominent warriors are named as judges, and from their 
decision there is no appeal. They are not suffered to bet 



304 LIFE AMONG THE APACHES. 

while acting in that capacity. The reason why women 
are forbidden to be present is because they always 
foment troubles between the players, and create confu 
sion by taking sides and provoking dissention. I once 
asked Gian-nah-tah why the Apaches were such fools as 
to risk all they had in gaming. "Why," said he, "what 
difference does it make ? They never play with any but 
Apaches; fortune will not always stick to one person, 
but continually changes. What is mine to-day will be 
long to somebody else to-morrow, while I get another 
man's goods; and, in course of time, I once more own 
my old articles. In this manner each successively owns 
the property of all his fellows." To argue against this 
style of reasoning, by pointing out the vice and immo 
rality of gambling, would only have subjected me to de 
rision and contempt, and as I am not a missionary : 
especially one of the self-sacrificing class I received his 
explanation with every mark of favor. The women have 
several games of their own, in which the men never 
mingle; but when cards are used, everybody takes a 
share in the business. 

Racing on foot is another diversion frequently resorted 
to by these active, restless Indians, and the women gen 
erally manage to carry off the palm, provided the dis 
tance is not too great. The officers at the post offered 
a number of prizes to be competed for, the fastest run 
ner to take the prize apportioned to the distance for 
which it was offered. The longest race was half a mile, 
the next a quarter, the third three hundred yards, and 
the fourth one hundred. It was open for men under 
forty years of age and over fifteen, and for girls from 
fifteen up to twenty-five. About . a hundred Apaches 
and Navajoes entered for the prizes, and practiced every 
day for a week. At the appointed time everybody in 



LIFE AMONG THE APACHES. 305 

camp assembled to witness the contest. Among the 
competitors was the Apache girl, Ish-kay-nay, a clean 
limbed, handsome girl of seventeen, who had always 
refused marriage, and she was the favorite among the 
whites. Each runner was tightly girded with a broad 
belt, and looked like a race horse. Ten entered for the 
half mile stake, which was a gaudy piece of calico for a 
dress or shirt, as the case might be. At the word, they 
went off like rockets, Nah-kah-yen leading handsomely, 
and Ish-kay-nay bringing up the rear, but running as 
clean and easy as a greyhound. Within four hundred 
yards of the goal, she closed the gap, went by like a 
steam engine, and got in an easy winner, six yards ahead 
of all competitors. For the quarter mile race she again 
entered, but was ruled out by the other Indians, and 
their objections were allowed, it being decided that the 
victor in either race should not enter for another. 

The second contest was won by Nah-kah-yen, but not 
without a desperate struggle with Manuelito, a very 
prominent Navajo chief. The third and fourth prizes 
were gained by Navajoes. Manuelito was the finest 
looking Indian man I ever saw. He was over six feet 
in height, and of the most symmetrical figure, combin 
ing ease, grace, and power and activity in a wonderful 
degree. He was a great dandy, and was always elabor 
ately dressed in the finest Indian costume. His leggings 
were highly ornamented, and his buckskin jacket fitted 
without a wrinkle. A splendid bunch of many colored 
plumes, surmounted by two eagle's feathers, adorned 
his head, while his shapely feet were incased in elegantly 
worked moccasins. Navajo blankets have a wide and 
merited reputation for beauty and excellence, some of 
them being worth a hundred dollars a piece in the New 
Mexican market, and over his shoulders was one of su- 



306 LIFE AMONG THE APACHES. 

perior character, worn with the grace and dignity with 
which a Roman Senator might be supposed to don his 
toga. So vain a man could not be well otherwise than 
brave, and he was noted for his gallantry. But he was 
also esteemed one of the wisest counselors in his tribe, 
and had headed many a bloody and destructive inroad 
until compelled to yield to the Californian troops. While 
on the Reservation his conduct was proud, haughty and 
decorous. He never honored any of us with his pres 
ence except when he came on business, but never exhib 
ited any animosity. 

Although the Navajoes and Apaches are identically 
one people, speaking the same language and observing 
nearly the same ceremonies, yet they differ materially in 
many respects, undoubtedly caused by a marked differ 
ence of climate. The country of the Navajoes is cold 
and inhospitable in winter subject to deep snows and 
long continued frosts while that roamed over by the 
Apaches is far milder, and in many portions of even tor 
rid heat. This compels the Navajoes to erect substan 
tial huts of an oval form, the lower portion of the hut 
being excavated, and the upper composed of substantial 
stakes brought together and firmly fastened at the top. 
Long, slender and supple poles are then hooped closely 
about the stakes, and the whole thickly covered with 
mud. These huts are sometimes quite roomy, many of 
them being twelve or fourteen feet in diameter. The 
women are extremely dexterous in weaving a very su 
perior kind of blanket, the colors of which are generally 
black and white; but sometimes made of green, blue, 
red, pink, purple, white, black, etc., so arranged as to 
produce a very gaudy and striking effect. These blankets 
are perfectly water-proof, and very thick, but they scarcely 
impart as much warmth as one of first-class California 



LIFE AMONG THE APACHES. 307 

manufacture. They last for years, retaining their beauty 
and colors without loss of brilliancy. This manufacture 
of blankets arises from the exigencies of the climate, and 
was originally learned from the Mexicans when the two 
people lived on amicable terms. The procurement of 
wool is one of their prime necessities, and is the inciting 
cause of the terrific raids they make into New Mexico, 
which is specially a sheep raising country. When large 
herds of cattle are met, the Navajoes "gobble them up" 
with avidity, but seldom molest them when few in num 
ber, as they cannot be driven with the rapidity of sheep ; 
leave a broader and more marked trail, and serve only 
for food. These Indians live together in considerable 
numbers during the winter months, a village frequently 
containing from two hundred to eight hundred inhabit 
ants. Such communities must necessarily be governed 
by a more systematic organization than obtains among 
the Apaches proper; hence they have regular chiefs and 
sub-chiefs, whose orders are obeyed, and who are charged 
with the government of all present; but his office is not 
hereditary, the chieftainship being determined by elec 
tion. The fortunate candidate holds office for life, or 
during good behavior, and feels no little pride in his po 
sition. In all matters wherein the Navajoes differ from 
the Apaches, they will be found chargeable to the climatic 
differences of their several countries. Their ceremonies, 
religious views, traditions, language, and general deport 
ment, as well as their personal appearance, are so strik 
ingly similar as to be almost undistinguishable. If the 
Navajo woman is more industrious and skilled than the 
Apache, she is also muoh more loose and wanton. A 
very marked characteristic of the latter people is their 
strict chastity, while the Navajoes are quite as much 
noted for their utter want of virtue. 



308 LIFE AMONG THE APACHES. 

Prior to the time of Mangas Colorado, several disputes 
of a serious character had occurred between these two 
tribes, but that shrewd Indian statesman managed to 
bestow one of his daughters upon the most noted of the 
Navajo chiefs, and finally succeeded in restoring the 
strictest amity, which continued without cessation dur 
ing his long life devoted to his people's good, and until 
the Navajoes, angered at the surrender of the Apaches 
at Fort Sumner, made a raid upon their horses, and 
were driven off with great slaughter. But the enmity 
engendered by such conflicts never extended to parties 
outside the Reservation. Fort Bascom, situated on a 
branch of the Bed river, one hundred and twenty-five 
miles east-north-east from Fort Sumner, was frequently 
visited by Comanche Indians, and on one occasion a 
large band, numbering nearly two hundred, informed 
the commander at Bascom that they intended to " clean 
out" the Apaches located at Sumner. That officer re 
plied: "Do not attempt so foolish a thing. There are 
three companies of soldiers at that place, two of which 
are cavalry, and so sure as you molest the Apaches un 
der their charge they will not only fight you themselves, 
but will arm and place the Apaches in the field against 
you. Take my advice and let them alone." Shortly af 
terward, while out with a small party, I met this same 
band of Comanches, when the chief repeated his inten 
tion to me, and told me what the commander of Bascom 
had said. Divining the Indian's drift, I immediately 
replied: "You tell me nothing new. We have all heard 
this before, and have made preparations to give you a 
welcome commensurate with your fame as a warrior. 
My commander has sent me out with these twenty-five 
men to find you and conduct you to his camp. The Co 
manches and Americans are friends. He does not wish 



LIFE AMONG THE APACHES. 309 

to molest you, nor will he permit you to molest him, or 
those for whose safety he is responsible; but if this thing 
must -come off, the sooner the better. Whenever my 
Comanche brother wishes to move toward Fort Sumner, 
I am ready to accompany him." " I have no time now," 
was the reply, " but will come this way again after three 
moons, and then we will catch the Apaches, but we will 
not fight the Americans." He and his band then wheeled 
their horses and rode off into the wilderness, taking an 
easterly course. We never heard of them afterwards. 






CHAPTER XXVII, 

Ignorance of Indian Character Discussed. Political Indian Agencies. How the 
Indian Affairs Should be Managed. Necessity of Force. Absurd System 
in Vogue. Crushing Out Advised. How the Apache? Should be Fought. 
Proper Method of Campaigning. Suggestions. Culpable Neglect of Con 
gress. General Deductions. Californian Troops. Conclusion. 

THE romantic wanderings of Catlin, Schoolcraft and 
some others among the Indian tribes of North America; 
the delightful tales of Cooper, as developed in his "Trap 
per/' "Last of the Mohicans," etc. ; the stirring adven 
tures of Captain John Smith, Daniel Boone, Chamberlin, 
Carson, Hays and a host of noted pioneers, have invested 
our Indian races with rare and absorbing interest. But 
they have also tended to convey false and erroneous im 
pressions of Indian character, and have contributed to 
misguide our legislation on this subject to such an extent 
as to become a most serious public burden. 

Since the foundation of our Government, Indian wars 
have cost the American people nearly four hundred 
millions of dollars, and the stream of expenditure con 
tinues with unabated volume. When the whites were 
few and the savages many, the cost of keeping them in 
subjection was measurably less than it has been since the 
reversal of our respective numerical conditions. Whence 
arises this anomaly? Simply because of our strange ig 
norance of Indian character as it really exists, and not as 
we have been taught to understand it by writers of attract 
ive fiction, or the chroniclers of heroic deeds and romantic 
adventures. This sweeping assertion may be met with 



LIFE AMONG THE APACHES. 311 

one more plausible and popular, because more suggestive, 
and having the merit of being sanctioned by time. "Is 
it possible," exclaims the old school debater, "that we 
have been for more than two centuries and a half fighting, 
treating, and dealing with our Indian tribes without ac 
quiring a positive knoweldge of their character !" Such 
an exclamation certainly seems to be staggering. It ap 
pears to possess the vital force of reason and unanswera 
ble argument; nevertheless, it is exactly true that, as a 
people, we know little or nothing about this very impor 
tant matter. Unfortunately, those who have been the 
best able, from long and careful personal experience, to 
give the requisite information, have also been, for the most 
part, deficient in educational attainments and the capac 
ity to impart their knowledge; while others have given 
no evidence of entertaining a just value of its public 
importance. Satisfied with their own acquirements, 
they have not sought to publish them for the benefit of 
others. 

The white races of the American people boast European 
origin, mainly that of English lineage; but how much 
did the British really know of Americans, even at the 
period of our Revolution ? Is not the history of that 
struggle indisputable evidence of the most lamentable 
and inexplicable ignorance on the part of the mother 
country? But, worse still; after the Revolution, after 
we had been in strict and closest commercial and polit 
ical relations with Great Britain for over sixty years, 
after a second and sanguinary contest with that country, 
we have only to read the works of some of their travelers 
to arrive at the superficial and wonderfully erroneous 
idea of American character possessed by intelligent 
Britons. 

When the two leading commercial nations of the 



312 LIFE AMONG THE APACHES. 

globe, each claiming the highest civilization, speaking 
identically the same language, and governed by the same 
general laws, contrive to pass two centuries and a half 
of close intercourse with such unsatisfactory interknowl- 
edgable results, is it strange that a like ignorance should 
exist between the American people and the nomadic 
races of this continent ? 

Causes similar to those which operated as a bar to 
English knowledge of the American character have in 
terposed against our acquisition of precise information 
relative to the leading traits of Indian nature. Without 
being captious, it is assumed that British tourists have, 
for the most part, approached us with something of an 
intolerant and pre-occupied spirit. They came pre 
pared to encounter ill-bred, semi-educated, uncouth and 
braggart provincials, rendered more unendurable by 
their democratic form of government, and political hos 
tility to the time honored institutions of their own coun 
try. Reference can as emphatically be made to the 
course pursued by the British in India, the Spaniards in 
Mexico and Peru, the French in Africa and Cochin 
China. The conquering race seldom care to inform 
themselves minutely about the condition and character 
istics of the conquered, and the results have been re 
newed sanguinary struggles and immensely increased 
expenditures. Our own dealings with the nomads of 
North America have been but so many chapters of the 
same record. What has our Government ever done, in 
a concerted, intelligent and liberal spirit, to acquire a 
definite knowledge of Indian character, as* it exists 
among the tribes which wander over more than one-half 
the public domain ? 

The Indian Bureau, with its army of political camp- 
followers, bent upon improving their short and preca- 



LIFE AMONG THE APACHES. 313 

rious official positions to "turn an honest penny/' can 
scarcely be quoted as evidence of our search for the 
needed information. Tales of violence and wrong, of 
outrage and devilish malignity, committed by Indians, 
are rife all along our frontiers; but who ever hears 
the other side ? Who chronicles the inciting causes, 
the long, unbroken series of injuries perpetrated by the 
semi-civilized white savages who, like Cain, fled from 
the retributive justice of outraged humanity, and sought 
refuge among the copper-colored savages of the woods 
and the plains? Naturally ferocious, warlike, revenge 
ful and treacherous as were the aborigines of America, 
we have educated them to a pitch of refinement in 
cruelty, deceit and villainy far beyond their normal 
standard. If the white man has come to be regarded as 
his natural enemy, it may be set down as the result of 
long and murderous schooling. The inherent disposi 
tion of the American nomad inclined him to hospitality; 
but that inclination has been completely blotted out, 
and its opposite engrafted on his nature. Legends and 
traditions of white men's ingratitude have been handed 
down through so many generations, and the experiences 
of the living have been in such direct accordance with 
them, that they have become prime articles of their 
creed. Keenly alive to a sense of the inferiority of their 
armament, incapable of subsisting large bodies of men 
for any considerable period, and perpetually engaged in 
the work of exterminating each other, the several tribes 
have been reduced to the necessity of employing deceit 
against force, cunning against courage, artifice against 
honesty. 

One of the most serious obstacles in the way of a 
settled and satisfactory arrangement with our Indian 
tribes results from our own form of government, which 



314 LIFE AMONG THE APACHES. 

requires a change of the whole working department of 
the Indian Bureau whenever a change of administration 
takes place. Nor can this evil be remedied so long as 
the Indian Bureau continues to be a political machine. 
The savages cannot comprehend why it is that every 
few years imposes upon their acceptance new and un 
tried Agents to regulate matters between them and their 
" Great Father" at Washington, nor why the new Agents 
should institute a policy different from that of their pre 
decessors. Time, patience, zeal, great experience and 
conscientious discharge of duty are indispensably requi 
site for the proper and just management of our Indian 
relations, and even then they will be found delicate and 
difficult under peculiar circumstances which are con 
stantly presenting themselves. The first great object 
should be a total and sweeping reform in this respect. 
The Department of Indian Affairs, as it is now organ 
ized, should be abolished as a costly and unnecessary 
adjunct to a Government already overburdened with 
political patronage. We have a large number of meri 
torious and highly educated officers of the army on the 
retired list. Many of them have acquired considerable 
insight into Indian character during the course of their 
campaigns in our Territories and on our frontiers. They 
are drawing pay from the Government without render 
ing effective service. Their own high sense of honor 
makes many of them feel as if they had been laid upon 
the shelf as being no longer useful, and they would be 
but too happy to prove that their capacity to serve their 
country in this line is quite as great as it ever was in 
their former field of operations. By appointing such 
men, and merging the In'dian Bureau into the War 
Department, a regular, systematic policy would be pur 
sued, upon which our savage tribes could place reliance, 



LIFE AMONG THE APACHES. 315 

and which would ultimately gain their confidence and 
respect. 

Why persist in maintaining a Department not only un 
necessary, but which has always imposed enormous ex 
penditures upon the people, and has frequently plunged 
us into costly Indian wars ? What can a political camp- 
follower, who has done party service in our cities, and 
been appointed Indian Agent as reward for such serv 
ices, possibly know of Indian character? And being 
profoundly ignorant of all that pertains to the people 
whose affairs he is about to manage, how can he conduct 
them with any degree of justice toward these people ? It 
has been the writer's lot to be present at many meetings 
between Indian Agents and their constituencies; and he 
has always been shocked at the insolent, intolerant and 
supercilious manner of the Agents. It is as necessary 
to use common intelligence and prudence in our inter 
course with savages as in the performance of any other 
act. If a man were required to move an object, his 
first business would be to ascertain the weight and char 
acter of that object, with a view to applying the proper 
motive power in a rational manner; but in our dealings 
with Indian tribes this common sense and practical style 
of operation is completely ignored. We have not even 
condescended to apply the rules of every day life to a 
subject of such extensive interest. Is the savage to be 
blamed because he becomes provoked at such intolerable 
folly? Is it to be wondered at that he should lose all 
confidence in people who, while claiming to be his su 
periors, display such despicable disregard of decency 
and good faith? And when he does evince anger and 
disgust, after his fashion the only one he compre 
hends straightway the worthy Agent shouts ' ' stop 
thief," to conceal his own avarice and rascality, while 



316 LIFE AMONG THE APACHES. 

he precipitates another costly conflict. Until this per 
nicious system be utterly swept away, and the manage 
ment of Indian affairs confided to intelligent and edu 
cated men appointed for life, or during good behavior, 
from the ranks of our meritorious retired officers, we 
may hope in vain for any better condition of our rela 
tions with the tribes. 

In the foregoing pages the attentive reader will have 
found some food for reflection. He will have perceived 
that the Apaches are not fools and idiots. He will have 
learned that they reflect, and argue with a great deal of 
logical acumen. He will have understood that there is 
much about them which can be studied with good re 
sults/ He will have comprehended the impossibility of 
making a durable treaty with a tribe, each individual of 
which is sovereign in his own right, and disavows the 
authority of any one to treat for him. There can be but 
one policy pursued toward these Indians with any chance 
of satisfactory result. They must be subdued by force 
of arms, and after submission, they must be removed 
from their country. It will -cost much to effect these 
objects, but the expense will be a mere "drop in the 
bucket," compared with that which must be disbursed 
to maintain the miserable little guerrilla warfare hereto 
fore pursued, and which has only imbued them with 
contempt for our much vaunted power. It will require 
a force of seven or eight thousand men to effectually 
subdue the Apache race in Arizona and New Mexico; 
but with such a force, properly officered and appointed, 
the work can be done in less than one year. 

Let it be understood, however, that the troops will be 
required for constant, active and arduous service in the 
field, and not to build forts, which are abandoned a year 
or so after construction; nor to till the earth, nor culti- 



LIFE AMONG THE APACHES. 317 

vate fine gardens, nor spend their time in dress parades 
and burnishing weapons which are never used. The 
men selected for this service should be picked, and en 
tirely reliable. The rations of coffee, sugar, tea, and 
everything but hard bread, the best of jerked beef, and 
tobacco, should be stopped while on duty in the field, 
and their pay should be increased in proportion. All 
the troops employed in active service must be cavalry, 
and their accoutrements should be simplified to the 
greatest possible extent. A trooper's horse should not 
be cumbered with a useless valise, holsters, and a ridicu 
lous amount of harness for display. The soldier should 
be equipped with two Colt's belt pistols, a first-class 
Spencer carbine, and a large knife. All posts should 
be kept and guarded by the infantry, aided by a small 
detachment of cavalry to act as herders, and at each post 
there should not be less than from fifty to seventy-five 
good horses, which may be rendered immediately avail 
able by any scouting party whose animals are beginning 
to tire. At each post the Commissary should be required 
to keep constantly on hand and baled in raw-hide covers, 
packages of bread and meat of not more than sixty 
pounds in each bale, and enough in quantity to equal 
ten days' rations for fifty men. There should also be a 
sufficient number of pack mules and aparejos to pack 
this amount of provision, and no mule should be laden 
with more than two packs. With these precautions, a 
pursuing party could replenish their stores and receive 
fresh horses and mules without the unnecessary and 
vexatious delays which have proved so fatal to success 
in our Indian campaigns in the Territories named. 

Three thousand men, divided into companies of fifty 
each, would place sixty such companies in the field at 
one time, and this force could sweep Arizona from end 



318 LIFE AMONG THE APACHES. 

to end in six months. Extreme care should be taken to 
prevent the Apaches from escaping into Northern Mex 
ico, and operations should commence from the southern 
and eastern frontiers. The same system should be ap 
plied to New Mexico at the same time, commencing at 
the northern and western frontiers. The men, while on 
scout, should take only one pair of socks, one shirt and 
one pair of drawers with them, in addition to those they 
wear. All blankets and other baggage should be con 
veyed by pack mules so lightly laden that they may be 
able to keep up with the horses. In winter the clothing 
should consist of thick buckskin pants and jacket, lined 
with flannel, and in summer of the usual cavalry dress, 
but without trimmings, except the chevrons for non 
commissioned officers. Marching by day should be 
avoided as much as possible, unless when following a 
trail. No fires should be allowed for cooking purposes; 
and when the state of the weather required them, they 
should be concealed as much as the ground might per 
mit. The rations of coffee and sugar should be allowed 
in winter. The course of operations in the field would 
suggest itself to each officer in command of a company, 
and he should be allowed discretionary power. 

It will be perceived that, although these suggestions 
require some space for their explanation, yet they pre 
sent a far more simple system than any ever put in prac 
tice, although susceptible of very great modifications and 
improvements, which must be suggested by the circum 
stances which may present themselves from time to time. 
It is, however, clear that a great change must be made 
in our mode of dealing with the Apache race. Twenty 
years of unceasing warfare, without any other result 
than the loss of many lives, much property, the expen 
diture of enormous sums ; the devastation of a large 



LIFE AMONG THE APACHES. 319 

extent of country ; the unavailability of one of the 
richest mineral regions in the "Union, and the continu 
ance of the perils to which immigrants are exposed 
while crossing it, should have sufficed to teach us that 
we have been suffering from an inadequate system of 
warfare. It is time that something more rigorous were 
tried. Matters can scarcely be worse than they have 
been and are. 

Forty or fifty infantry at a post, which has its Com 
missary and Quarter-Master's establishments, with their 
various belongings; its hospital with its corps of nurses, 
cooks and attendants ; its Adjutant's office with his 
clerks ; the Commander's orderly, the company clerk, 
and other modes of occupying the troops, can scarcely 
be deemed a very effective force in an Apache country. 
Nevertheless, such is the style of warfare which has been 
carried on occasionally varied by a small squad of cav 
alry making a scout with great lumbering army wagons, 
marching by day, and following the highways. Let no 
one imagine that these remarks are in any way intended 
to reflect on the officers and men doing duty in Arizona 
and New Mexico. All such idea is emphatically dis 
avowed. They do the very best that can be done under 
the circumstances. No man can be expected to fight 
advantageously with both hands tied behind him. They 
can't help themselves; but are placed in an awkward and 
embarrassing position from which there seems to be no 
escape. 

While Congress has been voting millions for various 
improvements, would it not have been wise to appropri 
ate a small amount for the purification of two immensely 
rich and extensive Territories in the very heart of the 
country? If Alaska be worth seven millions, Arizona 
and New Mexico are worth one hundred. It has been 



320 LIFE AMONG THE APACHES. 

suggested by one high, in authority, that an appropria 
tion of three millions to assist the Sutro Tunnel project 
would be an act of wisdom, as it would enormously in 
crease the yield of the Comstock lode; but it seems never 
to have suggested itself to the minds of our legislators, 
that the region withheld from our occupation by the 
Apache race contains more mineral wealth than twenty 
Comstock lodes. We are floundering under a great na 
tional debt, and financiers are puzzling their wits to de 
termine how it shall be extinguished; but they never 
dream of the untold wealth buried in the mountains 
which form the stronghold of the Apaches. We have 
behaved with the most Christian spirit of forbearance 
toward that people. Every time they have smitten us 
on one cheek we have turned the other to receive an ad 
ditional slap, which they were by no means loth to be 
stow. Is it not almost time to put our " Quaker" one 
side and perform what we have so long threatened? Is 
our Government aware that the people of those Terri 
tories could present a bill for over fifty millions of dollars 
for damages suffered at the hands of those Indians dur 
ing the past twenty years ? 

It matters not by what process or method of schooling 
the Apache has become the most treacherous, blood 
thirsty, villainous and unmitigated rascal upon earth; 
it is quite sufficient that he is so, and that he is incapa 
ble of improvement. Kindness and generosity provoke 
his contempt, and he regards them as weaknesses. Chas 
tisement does not procure his vengeance with any more 
certainty than want of caution. The man who deems it 
the highest achievement to become a dexterous robber is 
scarcely an object in whom to repose confidence. What 
ever regard they exhibited toward myself was more in 
duced by the conviction that I was serviceable to them, 



LIFE AMONG THE APACHES. 321 

wliile their respect was enforced through their dread of 
my troopers. Nevertheless, when I was ordered home 
from Fort Sumner, they all mounted their horses and 
rode with us for two hours, and appeared quite sorry at 
our departure. This would seem to express some sense 
of gratitude, and so I imagined it, until subsequent in 
telligence disclosed the fact that they were never more 
elated. 

From the time of their last conflict with the Navajoes, 
in which ninety of the latter were slain outright, within 
fifteen miles of the Eeservation, where their dead bodies 
were seen by the other Navajoes under our charge, the 
two people had never lived comfortably together. Their 
camps were located four miles apart, but little feuds and 
disputes were constantly arising whfch occupied much of 
my time to arrange. At length the matter became un 
bearable to the Apaches, who were outnumbered nine to 
one, and they applied to Gen. Carleton to be placed on 
a separate Reservation. This was refused, and they re 
solved to leave by the first good opportunity. The only 
bar to this was the presence of my company, of which 
they entertained a most salutary dread, although con 
stantly receiving little presents and kind treatment from 
all the men. The Apaches had frequently witnessed 
their target practice with carbine and pistol, in both of 
which arms they had acquired wonderful perfection, and 
they were also struck with the easy and bold riding of 
my troopers. Gian-nah-tah, being angry one day, told 
Capt. Updegraff, who had denied them a favor he had 
no right to grant "You think we care for you and your 
men; not a bit of it, we are only restrained by those Cal- 
ifornians." When they saw those Californians depart, 
they were actually delighted, and in less than two 
months afterward, the great body of them decamped to 
parts unknown. 



322 LIFE AMONG THE APACHES. 

As an example of the precision to which my men had 
arrived in the use of their fire-arms, the following inci 
dent will suffice. While passing the "Caves" on the 
road to the San Bernardino river, whither we had been 
to settle a little difficulty with the Piutes, we were passed 
by a fine antelope buck, about one hundred yards dis 
tant, and going at speed. There were fourteen men in 
single file behind me, and I cried out, "Fire at that an 
telope." At the word each man checked his horse, 
raised his carbine and fired. The animal fell, and upon 
examination, it was found that every ball had struck 
him. 

The information w r hich I received from Mr. Labadie 
relative to the Apache hegira from Fort Sumner, only 
added to my former conviction that they are incapable of 
any enduring sense of gratitude. Their intense selfish 
ness precludes any hope from that quarter, while the 
long.and close experience I had with them, established 
the conviction in my mind that their intensified procliv 
ity to commit outrage can only be suppressed by force of 
arms, in a vigorous and not too merciful campaign, pros 
ecuted with an overwhelming force, and brought to a 
sudden and decisive end by occupying many portions of 
their country at the same time, and keeping the forces 
in the field until the object be accomplished. 

In the foregoing work only such personal adventures 
have been recited as served to exemplify some trait of 
Indian character; and if any of my readers have received 
either pleasure or profit from its perusal, or if these ex 
periences should serve in any way to modify or better 
our Indian policy, the author will not have written in 
vain. 

FINIS. 



V